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WRITERS 



[RS, HUMPHRY 



A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

(1856-1900) 




<m*v 



1863 



WRITER'S 
RECOLLECTIONS 




BY 



MRS. HUMPHRY WARD 



w: 




LONDON : 48 PALL MALL 

W. COLLINS SONS & CO. LTD. 

GLASGOW MELBOURNE AUCKLAND 



COPYRIGHT 

First Edition - - October 1918 
Second Edition - - January 1919 
Third Edition - - November 1919 



TO 

T. H. W. 

(IN MEMORY OF APRIL 6TH, 1872) 



CONTENTS 



EARLY DATS 



Tasmania. Arnold of Rugby and his Children. My Father and 
New Zealand. 

II. Fox How 28 

My Grandmother. Charlotte Bronte and Matthew Arnold. 

III. THE FAMILY OF Fox How 34 

Mrs. Forster. Matthew Arnold. A Letter from Lansdowne House. 
An Oxford Election! 

IV. OTHER CHILDREN OK Fox How 58 

William Delafield Arnold. ' Oakfield.' 'A Summer Night.' 

' Aunt Mary.' 

V. THE FRIENDS OF Fox How 75 

Wordsworth. An Unpublished Letter. A Vision of th Poet 
Arthur Hugh Clough. Dean Stanley. 

YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 96 

Balliol and the Master. The Pattisons. George Eliot. M. Taine. 
Swinburne. The Paters. 

BALLIOL AND LINCOLN 126 

The Master Again. Thomas Hill Green. Cardinal Newman. Dr. 
Pusey. Canon Liddon. 

VIII. EARLY MARRIED LIFE 141 

First Attempts at Writing. Mandell Creightou. John Richard 
Green. Mr. Freeman. Bishop Stubbs. A First Talk with 
M. Renan. Sarah Bernhardt. Mme. Mohl. Dr. Lushingtcm. 

IX. THE HISTORY OF ' ROBERT ELSMERE ' 162 

Spanisi, Hi-tory. Work on the West Goths. Meaning and \\'eight 
of Testimony. The Bampton Lectures, 1881. 'Unbelief and Sin." 
A First Sketch of ' Robert Elsmere ' M. Renan at Oxford. Work 
on the Times. London. Dublin, 18FO. Jlr. Forster's Chief Secre- 
taryship. The Education Bill of 1870. 




CONTENTS 



X. LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 182 

John Morley. His Editorship of Wacmillan. My Work for 
Him. His ' Life of Gladstone.' Russell Square and Borough Farm. 
' Miss Bretherton.' Henry James. Laura Lyttelton. 

XI. LONDON AND OTHER FRIENDS 206 

Edmond Soberer. Amiel's Journal. Mr. Balfour at Whittingh<une. 
Mr. Gos"hen. Lord Acton. M. Clemenceau. Mr. Chamberlain. 
Robert Browning. James ttus.se 11 Lowell. 

XII. PUBLICATION OF ' EGBERT ELSMERE ' 228 

How the Book was Written. Mv Mother's Death. Conversations 
with Mr. Gladstone. Death of Matthew Arnold. The Rush for 
1 Kobert Klsmere.' Mr. Pater's Review. Henry James's Letters 
and many others. Appearance of the Book in America. Oliver 
Wendell Holmes. Goldwiu Smith. M. Bruneuiere and 'Robert 
Elsmere.' 

XIII. FIRST VISITS TO ITALY 255 

The Story of a First Folio. Mr Gladstone at Hawarden. ' The 
New Reformation.' First Sketch of David Grive.' Emily 
Lawless. C^ntes-a Pusolini. A Sunvner at Hampden. Visitors 
to Hampden. The Huxleys. Sir Alfred Lyall. M. Juaserand. 
M. Audre Chevrillou. 

XIV. AMALFI AND BOMB 276 

Lord Dufferin. Publication of ' David Grieve.' Lord Derby. We 
Settle at Stocks. Beginnings of ' M.ircela.' Foundaiion of the 
Passmore Edwards Settlement. The Jowett Lectureship. Lord 
Carlisle. Stopf ^rd Brooke. James Martiueau. The Death of the 
Master. 



XV. ' HELBECK OF BANNISDALE * 

Publication of ' Marcella.' Letters from Mr. Gladstone. His 

Death and Funeral. Huxley on the ' Sentimental Deists.' Lady 

Wemyss. The Origins of ' Helbeck.' Spring at Levens. Publi- 
cation of ' Helbeck.' An Hour wi h the Empress Frederick. 

XVI. THE VILLA BARBERINI. HENRY JAMES . 



A Spring at Castel Gandolfo. 
James's Art. 



Henry James at Nemi. Henry 



XVII. 



BOMAN FRIENDS. 'ELEANOR' 

Sir William Harcourt at Rome. Commendatore Boni. Mon- 
seigneur Duchesne. Cardinal Vaughan. Appearance of ' Eleanor ' 
Modern Italy. 



EPILOGUE 



801 



323 



837 



352 



Some Thoughts on Literature and Religion. Tennyson and Meredith. 
St-venson. Thomas Hardy. Rudyard Kipling. Mi 1 . Wells. Mr. 
Arnold >!ennett. Mr. Conrad. Mr. iratsworihy. H'ather Tyrrell. 
The Effects of the War on the Counf.ry Districts. A Visit to the 
United States. A Journey through Cana.-ia. 

INDEX , . . 374 



A WIMTEirS RECOLLECTIONS 

CHAPTER I 
EARLY DAYS 

Do we all become garrulous and confidential as we 
approach the gates of old age ? Is it that we instinc- 
tively feel, and cannot help asserting our one advantage 
over the younger generation, which has so many over 
us ? the one advantage of time I 

After all, it is not disputable that we have lived 
longer than they. When they talk of past poets, or 
politicians, or novelists, whom the young still deign to 
remember, of whom for once their estimate agrees with 
ours, we can sometimes put in a quiet ' I saw him ' 
or ' I talked with him ' which for the moment wins the 
conversational race. And as we elders fall back before 
the brilliance and glitter of the New Age, advancing 'like 
an army with banners,' this mere prerogative of years 
becomes in itself a precious possession. After all, we 
cannot divest ourselves of it, if we would. It is 
better to make friends with it to turn it into a kind 
of paruiche to wear it with an air, since wear it 
we must. 

So as the years draw on towards the Biblical limit, 
the inclination to look back, and to tell some sort of 



2 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

story of what one lias seen, grows upon most of ua. 
I cannot hope that what I have to say will be very 
interesting to many. A life spent largely among books, 
and in the exercise of a literary profession, has very 
obvious drawbacks, as a subject matter, when one comes 
to write about it. I can only attempt it with any 
success, if my readers will allow me a large psychological 
element. The thoughts and opinions of one human 
being, if they are sincere, must always have an interest 
for some other human beings. The world is there to 
think about ; and if we have lived, or are living, with 
any sort of energy, we must have thought about it, and 
about ourselves in relation to it thought ' furiously ' 
often. And it is out of the many * thinkings ' of many 
folk, strong or weak, dull or far-ranging, that thought 
itself grows. For progress surely, whether in men or 
nations, means only a richer knowledge ; the more 
impressions therefore on the human intelligence 
that we can seize and record, the more sensitive be- 
comes that intelligence itself. 

But of course the difficulty lies in the seizing and 
recording in the choice, that is, of what to say, and how 
to say it. In this choice, as I look back over more than 
half a century, I can only follow and trust the same 
sort of instinct that one follows in the art of fiction. 
I shall be telling what is primarily true, or as true as 
I can make it ; as distinguished from what is primarily 
imagination, built on truth. But the truth one uses 
in fiction must be interesting ! Milton expresses that 
in the words ' sensuous ' and ' passionate,' which he 
applies to poetry in a well-known passage. And the 
same thing applies to autobiography, where selection is 
even more necessary than in fiction, Nothing ought to be 



EARLY DAYS 8 

told, I think, that does not interest or kindle one's own 
mind in looking back ; it is the only condition on which 
one can hope to interest or kindle other minds. And 
this means that one ought to handle things broadly, 
taking only the salient points in the landscape of the 
past, and of course with as much detachment as possible. 
Though probably in the end one will have to admit 
egotists that we all are ! that not much detachment 
is possible. 

For me, the first point that stands out is the arrival 
of a little girl of five, in the year 1856, at a grey stone 
house in a Westmorland valley, where fourteen years 
earlier, the children of Arnold of Rugby, the ' Doctor ' 
of ' Tom Brown's Schooldays,' had waited on a June 
day, to greet their father expected from the South, 
only to hear, as the summer day died away, that two 
hours' sharp illness, that very morning, had taken him 
from them. Of what preceded my arrival as a black- 
haired, dark-eyed child, with my father, mother, and 
two brothers, at Fox How, the holiday house among 
the mountains which the famous headmaster had built 
for himself in 1834, 1 have but little recollection. I see 
dimly another house in wide fields, where dwarf lilies 
grew, and I know that it was a house in Tasmania, 
where at the time of my birth my father, Thomas Arnold, 
the Doctor's second son, was organising education in the 
young colony. I can just recall too. the deck of a ship 
which to my childish feet seemed vast but the William 
Brown was a sailing ship of only 400 tons ! in which 
we made the voyage home in 1856. Three months and 
a half we took about it, going round the Horn in bitter 
weather, much run over by rats at night, and expected 
to take our baths by day in two huge barrels full of 



4 A WRITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

sea water on the deck, into which we children were 
plunged shivering by our nurse, two or three times a 
week. My father and mother, their three children, and 
some small cousins, who were going to England under my 
mother's care, were the only passengers. 

I can remember too being lifted weak and miserable 
with toothache in my father's arms to catch the first 
sight of English shores as we neared the mouth of the 
Thames ; and then the dismal inn by the docks where 
we first took shelter. The dreary room where we 
children slept the first night, its dingy ugliness and its 
barred windows, still come back to me as a vision of 
horror. Next day, like angels of rescue, came an aunt 
and uncle, who took us away to other and cheerful 
quarters, and presently saw us off to Westmorland. 
The aunt was my godmother, Dr. Arnold's eldest 
daughter then the young wife of William Edward 
Forster, a Quaker manufacturer, who afterwards became 
the well-known Education Minister of 1870, and 
was Chief Secretary for Ireland in the terrible years 
1880-82. 

To my mother and her children, Fox How and its 
inmates represented much that was new and strange. 
My mother was the grand-daughter of one of the first 
Governors of Tasmania, Governor Sorell, and had been 
brought up in the colony, except for a brief schooling 
at Brussels. Of her personal beauty in youth we 
children heard much, as we grew up, from her old 
Tasmanian friends and kinsfolk who would occasionally 
drift across us ; and I see as though I had been there, 
a scene often described to me my mother playing 
Hermione in the * Winter's Tale,' at Government House 
when Sir William Denison was Governor a vision, 



EARLY DAYS 6 

lovely and motionless, on her pedestal, till at the words 
* Music ! awake her ! Strike ! ' she kindled into life. 
Her family were probably French in origin. Governor 
Sorell had been a man of promise in his youth. His 
father, General William Alexander Sorell, of the Cold- 
stream Guards, was a soldier of some eminence, whose 
two sons William and Thomas both served under 
Sir John Moore, and at the Cape. But my great- 
grandfather ruined his military career, while he was 
Deputy Adjutant General at the Cape, by a love- 
affair with a brother officer's wife, and was banished 
or promoted whichever one pleases to call it to 
the new colony of Tasmania, of which he became 
Governor in 1816. His eldest son, by the wife 
he had left behind him in England, went out as 
a youth of twenty-one or so, to join his father the 
Governor, in Tasmania, and I possess a little calf- 
bound diary of my grandfather written in a very 
delicate and refined hand, about the year 1823. 
The faint entries in it show him to have been a 
devoted son. But when in 1830 or so, the Governor 
left the colony, and retired to Brussels, my grand- 
father remained in Van Diemen's Land, as it was 
then generally called, became very much attached to 
the colony, and filled the post of Registrar of Deeds 
for many years under its successive Governors. I 
just remember him, as a gentle, affectionate, upright 
being, a gentleman of an old punctilious school, strictly 
honourable and exact, content with a small sphere, and 
much loved within it. He would sometimes talk to his 
children of early days in Bath, of his father's young 
successes and promotions, and of his grandfather, 
General Sorell, who as Adjutant of the Coldstream 



6 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Guards, from 1744 to 1758, and associated with all the 
home and foreign service of that famous regiment 
during those years, through the Seven Years' War, and 
up to the opening of the American War of Independence, 
played a vaguely brilliant part in his grandson's recollec- 
tions. But he himself was quite content with the 
modest affairs of an infant colony, which even in its 
earliest days achieved, whether in its landscape or its 
life, a curiously English effect ; as though an English 
midland county had somehow got loose, and drifting 
to the Southern seas, had there set up barring a few 
black aborigines, a few convicts, its mimosas, and its 
tree-ferns another quiet version of the quiet English 
life it had left behind. 

But the Sorells all the same had some foreign and 
excitable blood in them. Their story of themselves 
was that they were French Huguenots, expelled in 
1685, who had settled in England, and coming of a 
military stock, had naturally sought careers in the 
English army. There are points in this story which 
are puzzling ; but the foreign touch in my mother, and 
in the Governor to judge from the only picture of 
him which remains was unmistakable. Delicate 
features, small, beautifully shaped hands and feet, were 
accompanied in my mother by a French vivacity and 
quickness, an overflowing energy, which never forsook 
her through all her trials and misfortunes. In the 
Governor, the same physical characteristics make a 
rather decadent and foppish impression as of an old 
stock run to seed. The stock had been re-invigorated 
in my mother, and one of its original elements which 
certainly survived in her temperament and tradition 
was of great importance both for her own life and for 



EAELY 'DAYS 7 

her children's. This was the Protestant the French 
Pr testant element ; which no doubt represented 
in the family from which she came, a history of 
long suffering at the hands of Catholicism. Looking 
back upon her Protestantism, I see that it was not 
the least like English Evangelicalism, whether of the 
Anglican or dissenting type. There was nothing 
emotional or ' enthusiastic ' in it no breath of Wesley 
or Wilberforce ; but rather something drawn from 
deep wells of history, instinctive and invincible. 
Had some direct Calvinist ancestor of hers, with a 
soul on fire, fought the tyranny of Bossuet and 
Madame de Maintenon, before eternally hating and 
resenting c Papistry ' he abandoned his country and 
kinsfolk, in the search for religious liberty ? That is 
the impression which looking back upon her life 
it often makes upon me. All the more strange 
that to her it fell, unwittingly, imagining, indeed, that 
by her marriage with a son of Arnold of Rugby, she 
was taking a step precisely in the opposite direction, 
to be, by a kind of tragic surprise, which yet was no 
one's fault, the wife of a Catholic. 

And that brings me to my father, whose character 
and story were so important to all his children that I 
must try and draw them, though I cannot pretend 
to any impartiality in doing so only to the insight 
that affection gives ; its one abiding advantage over 
the critic and the stranger. 

He was the second son of Dr. Arnold of Rugby, 
and the younger brother by only eleven months of 
Matthew Arnold. On that morning of June 12, 1842, 
when the Headmaster who in fourteen years' rule at 
Rugby had made himself so conspicuous a place, not 



8 A WRITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

merely in the public school world, but in English life 
generally, 1 arose, in the words of his poet son to 
tread 

In the summer morning, the road 
Of death, at a call unforeseen 
Sudden 

my father, a boy of eighteen, was in the house, and 
witnessed the fatal attack of angina pectoris which, 
in two hours, cut short a memorable career, and left 
those who till then, under a great man's shelter and 
keeping, had 

Eested as under the boughs 
Of a mighty oak. . . . 
Bare, unshaded, alone. 

He had been his father's special favourite among 
the elder children, as shown by some verses in my 
keeping addressed to him as a small boy, at different 
times, by ' the Doctor.' Those who know their ' Tom 
Brown's Schooldays ' will perhaps remember the various 
passages in the book where the softer qualities of the 
man whom * three hundred reckless childish boys ' 
feared with all their hearts, ' and very little besides 
in heaven or earth/ are made plain in the language 
of that date. Arthur's illness, for instance, when the 
little fellow, who has been at death's door, tells Tom 

1 At the moment of correcting these proofs, my attention has been 
called to a foolish es^ay on my grandfather by Mr. Lytton Strachey, none 
the less foolish because it is the work of an extremely clever man. If 
Mr. Strachey imagines that the effect of my grandfather's life and character 
upon men like Stanley and Clcugh, or a score of others who could be named, 
can be accounted for by the eidolon he presents to his readers in place 
of the real human being, one can only regard it as one proof the more of the 
ease with which a certain kind of ability outwits itself. 



EAELY DAYS 9 

Brown, who is at last allowed to see him * You can't 
think what the Doctor's like when one's ill. He said 
such brave and tender and gentle things to me I felt 
quite light and strong after it, and never had any more 
fear.' Or East's talk with the Doctor, when the lively 
boy of many scrapes has a moral return upon him- 
self and says to his best friend * You can't think 
how kind and gentle he was, the great grim man, whom 
I've feared more than anybody on earth. When I 
stuck, he lifted me, just as if I'd been a little child. 
And he seemed to know all I'd felt, and to have gone 
through it all.' This tenderness and charm of a strong 
man, which in Stanley's biography is specially mentioned 
as growing more and more visible in the last months 
of his life, was always there for his children. In a 
letter written in 1828 to his sister, when my father as a 
small child not yet five was supposed to be dying, 
Arnold says, trying to steel himself against the bitter- 
ness of coming loss ' I might have loved him, had he 
lived, too dearly you know how deeply I do love him 
now.' And three years later, when ' little Tom,' on 
his eighth birthday, had just said wistfully with a 
curious foreboding instinct ' I think that the eight 
years I have now lived will be the happiest of my life' 
Arnold, painfully struck by the words, wrote 
some verses upon them which I still possess. ' The 
Doctor ' was no poet, though the best of his historical 
proee the well-known passage in the Roman History, 
for instance, on the death of Marcellus has some of the 
essential notes of poetry passion, strength, music. 
But the gentle Wordsworthian quality of his few 
essays in verse will be perhaps interesting to those 
who are aware of him chiefly as the great Liberal 



10 A WEITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

fighter of eighty years ago. He replies to his 
little son : 

Is it that aught prophetic stirred 
Thy spirit to that ominous word, 

Foredating in thy childish mind 
The fortune of thy Life's career 
That nought of brighter bliss shall cheer 

What still remains behind ? 

Or is thy Life so full of bliss 

That come what may, more blessed than this 

Thou canst not be again ? 
And fear'st thou, standing on the shore, 
What storms disturb with wild uproar 

The years of older men ? 

At once to enjoy, at once to hope 
That fills indeed the largest scope 

Of good our thoughts can reach. 
Where can we learn so blest a rule, 
What wisest sage, what happiest school, 

Art so divine can teach ? 

The answer, of course, in the mouth of a Christian 
teacher is that in Christianity alone is there both 
present joy and future hope. The. passages in Arnold's 
most intimate diary, discovered after his death, and 
published by Dean Stanley, show what the Christian 
faith was to my grandfather, how closely bound up 
with every action and feeling of his life. The impression 
made by his conception of that faith, as interpreted 
by his own daily life, upon a great school, and, through 
the many strong and able men who went out from it > 
upon English thought and feeling, is a part of English 
religious history. 

But curiously enough the impression upon his own 






EARLY DAYS 11 

sons appeared, at any rate, to be less strong and lasting 
than in the case of others. I mean, of course, in the 
matter of opinion. The famous father died, and his 
children had to face the world without his guiding 
hand. Matthew and Tom, William and Edward, the 
four eldest sons, went in due time to Oxford, and the 
youngest boy into the Navy. My grandmother made 
her home at Fox How under the shelter of the fells, 
with her four daughters, the youngest of whom was 
only eight when their father died. The devotion of all 
the nine children to their mother, to each other, and 
to the common home was never weakened for a moment 
by the varieties of opinion that life was sure to bring 
out in the strong brood of strong parents. But the 
development of the two elder sons at the University 
was probably very different from what it would have 
been had their father lived. Neither of them, indeed, 
ever showed, while there, the smallest tendency to the 
* Newmanism ' which Arnold of Rugby had fought with all 
his powers ; which he had denounced with such vehemence 
in the Edinburgh article on 'The Oxford Malignants.' 
My father was at Oxford all through the agitated years 
which preceded Newman's secession from the Anglican 
communion. He had rooms in University College in 
the High Street, nearly opposite St. Mary's, in which 
John Henry Newman, then its Vicar, delivered Sunday 
after Sunday those sermons which will never be for- 
gotten by the Anglican church. But my father only once 
crossed the street to hear him, and was then repelled by 
the mannerism of the preacher. Matthew Arnold 
occasionally went, out of admiration, my father used 
to say, for that strange Newmanic power of words, 
which in itself fascinated the young Balliol poet, who 



12 A WEITBB'S KECOLLECTIONS 

was to produce his first volume of poems two years 
after Newman's secession to the Church of Rome. 
But he was never touched in the smallest degree by 
Newman's opinions. He and my father and Arthur 
dough, and a few other kindred spirits, lived indeed in 
quite another world of thought. They discovered 
George Sand, Emerson and Carlyle, and orthodox 
Christianity no longer seemed to them the sure refuge 
that it had always been to the strorg teacher who trained 
them as boys. There are many allusions of many 
dates in the letters of my father and uncle to each other, 
as to their common Oxford passion for George Sand. 
Consudo, in particular, was a revelation to the two 
young men brought up under the * earnest ' influence 
of Rugby. It seemed to open to them a world of 
artistic beauty and joy of which they had never dreamed ; 
and to loosen the bands of an austere conception of 
life, which began to appear to them too narrow for 
the facts of life. Wilhelm Meister, read in Carlyle's 
translation at the same time, exercised a similar liber- 
ating and enchanting power upon my father. The 
social enthusiasms of George Sand also affected him 
greatly, strengthening whatever he had inherited of 
his father's discontent with an iron world, where 
the poor suffer too much and work too hard. And 
this discontent, when the time came for him to leave 
Oxford, assumed a form which startled his friends. 

He had done very well at Oxford, taking his two 
Firsts with ease, and was offered a post in the Colonial 
Office immediately on leaving the University. But the 
time was full of schemes for a new heaven and a new 
earth, wherein should dwell equality and righteousness. 
The storm of '48 was preparing in Europe ; the Corn 



EAELY DAYS 18 

Laws had fallen ; the Chartists were gathering in 
England. To settle down to the old humdrum round of 
Civil Service promotion seemed to my father impossible. 
This revolt of his, and its effect upon his friends, of 
whom the most intimate was Arthur Clough, has left 
its mark on Clough's poem, the 'Vacation Pastoral,' which 
he called ' The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich,' or, as it 
runs in my father's old battered copy which lies before 
me ' Tober-na-Fuosich.' The Philip of the poem, the 
dreamer and democrat, who says to Adam the Tutor 

Alas, the noted phrase of the prayer-book 
Doing our duty in that state of life to which God has called us, 
Seems to me always to mean, when the little rich boys say it, 
Standing in velvet frock by Mama's brocaded flounces, 
Eying her gold-fastened book, and the chain and watch at her 

bosom, 
Seems to me always to mean, Eat, drink, and never mind others, 

was in broad outline drawn from my father, and 
the impression made by his idealist, enthusiastic youth 
upon his comrades. And Philip's migration to the 
Antipodes at the end when he 

rounded the sphere to New Zealand, 
There he hewed and dug ; subdued the earth and his spirit 

was certainly suggested by my father's similar step 
in 1847, the year before the poem appeared. Only in 
my father's life there had been as yet no parallel to the 
charming love-story of 'The Bothie.' His love-story 
awaited him on the other side of the world. 

At that moment, New Zealand, the land of beautiful 
mountain and sea, with its even temperate climate and 
its natives whom English enthusiasm hoped not only 
to govern but to civilise and assimilate, was in the 



14 A WRITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

minds of all to whom the colonies seemed to offer 
chances of social reconstruction beyond any that were 
possible in a crowded and decadent Europe. ' Land 
of Hope/ I find it often called in these old letters. 
' The gleam ' was on it, and my father, like Browning's 
Waring, heard the call. 

After it ; follow it. Follow the gleam ! 

He writes to his mother in August 1847 from the 
Colonial Office : 

Everyone whom I meet pities me for having to return to 
London at this dull season, but to my own feelings, it is not 
worse than at other times. The things which would make me 
loathe the thought of passing my life or even several years in 
London, do not depend on summer or winter. It is the 
chronic, not the acute ills of London life which are real ills to 
me. I meant to have talked to you again before I left home 
about New Zealand, but I could not find a good opportunity. 
I do not think you will be surprised to hear that I cannot 
give up my intention though you may think me wrong, you 
will believe that no cold-heartedness towards home has assisted 
me in framing my resolution. Where or how we shall meet 
on this side the grave will be arranged for us by a wiser will 
than our own. To me, however strange and paradoxical it 
may sound, this going to New Zealand is become a work of 
faith, and I cannot but go through with it. 

And later on when his plans are settled, he writes 
in exultation to his eldest sister : 

The weather is gusty and rainy, but no cheerlessness 
without can repress a sort of exuberant buoyancy of spirit 
which is supplied to me from within. There is such an in- 
describable blessedness in looking forward to a manner of 
life which the heart and conscience approve, and which at 
the same time satisfies the instinct for the heroic and beautiful. 
Yet there seems little enough in a homely life in a New Zealand 



EAELY DAYS 15 

forest ; and indeed there is nothing in the thing itself, except 
in so far as it flows from a principle, a faith. 

And he goes on to speak in vague exalted words 
of the * equality ' and ' brotherhood ' to which he 
looks forward in the new land ; winding up with an 
account of his life in London, its daily work at the 
Colonial Office, his walks, the occasional evenings at 
the Opera where he worships Jenny Lind, his readings 
and practisings in his lodgings. My poor father ! 
He little knew what he was giving up, or the real 
conditions of the life to which he was going. 

For though the Philip of 'The Botii'e' may have 
* hewed and dug ' to good purpose in New Zealand, 
success in colonial farming was a wild and fleeting dream 
in my father's case. He was born for Academic life 
and a scholar's pursuits. He had no practical gifts, and 
knew nothing whatever of land or farming. He had 
only courage, youth, sincerity, and a charming presence 
which made him friends at sight. His mother, indeed, 
with her gentle wisdom, put no obstacles in his way. On 
the contrary, she remembered that her husband had 
felt a keen imaginative interest in the colonies, and 
had bought t mall sections of land near Wellington, which 
his second son now proposed to take up and farm. But 
some of the old friends of the family felt and expressed 
consternation. In particular Baron Bunsen, then 
Prussian Ambassador to England, Arnold of Rugby's 
dear and faithful friend, wrote a letter of earnest and 
affectionate remonstrance to the would-be colonist. 
Let me quote it, if only that it may remind me of days 
long ago, when it was still possible for a strong and 
tender friendship to exist between a Prussian and an 
Englishman ! 



16 . A WEITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Bunsen points out to * young Tom ' that he has only 
been eight or nine months in the Colonial Office, not 
long enough to give it- a fair trial, that the drudgery of 
his clerkship will soon lead to more interesting things, 
that his superiors speak well of him ; above all that he 
has no money, and no practical experience of farming, 
and that if he is going to New Zealand in the hope of 
building -up a purer society, he will soon find himself 
bitterly disillusioned. 

Pray, my dear young friend, do not reject the voice of a 
man of nearly sixty years, who has made his way through life 
under much greater difficulties perhaps than you imagine 
who was your father's dear friend who feels deeply attached 
to all that bears the honoured and blessed name of Arnold 
who in particular had your father's promise that he would 
allow me to offer to you, after I had seen you in 1839, some- 
thing of that care and friendship he had bestowed upon Henry 
(Bunsen's own son) do not reject the warning voice of that 
man, if he entreats you solemnly not to take a precipitate 
step. Give yourself time. Try a change of scene. Go for a 
month or two to France or Germany. I am sure you wish to 
satisfy your friends that you are acting wisely, considerately, 
in giving up what you have. 

Spartam quam nactus es, orna was Niebuhr's word to 
me when once, about 1825, wearied with diplomatic life, I 
resolved to throw up my place, and go not to New Zealand, 
but to a German University. Let me say that concluding 
word to you and believe me, my dear young friend 

Your sincere and affectionate friend 

BUNSEN. 

P.S. If you feel disposed to have half an hour's quiet 
conversation with me alone, pray come to-day at six o'clock, 
and then dine with us quietly at half-past six. I go to-morrow 
to Windsor Castle for four clays. 

Nothing could have been kinder, nothing more 
truly felt and meant. But the young make their own 



EAELY DAYS 17 

experience, and my father, with the smiling open look 
which disarmed opposition, and disguised all the time 
a certain stubborn independence of will, characteristic 
of him through life, took his own way. He went to 
New Zealand, and now that it was done, the interest 
and sympathy of all his family and friends followed 
him. Let me give here the touching letter, which 
Arthur Stanley, his father's biographer, wrote to him 
the night before he left England. 

Univ. ColL, Oxford, Nov. 4, 1847. 

Farewell ! (if you will let me once again recur to a relation 
so long since past away) farewell my dearest, earliest, best 
of pupils. I cannot let you go without asking you to forgive 
those many annoyances which I fear I mu^t have unconsciously 
indicted upon you in the last year of your Oxford life nor 
without expressing the interest which I feel and shall I trust 
over feel, beyond all that I can say, in your future course. 
You know or perhaps you hardly can know how when I 
camp back to Oxford after the summer of 1842. your presence 
here was to me the stay and charm of my life how the walks 
the lectures the Sunday evenings with you. filled up the void 
which had been left in my interests, 1 and endeared to me all 
the beginnings of my College labours. That particular feeling, 
as is natural, has passed away--but it may still be a pleasure 
to you to feel in your distant home that whatever may be 
my occupations, nothing will more cheer and support me 
through them than the belief that in that new world your dear 
father's name is in you still loved and honoured, and bringing 
forth the fruits which he would have delighted to see. 

Farewell, my dear friend. May God in whom you trust 
be with you. 

Do not trouble yourself to answer this only take it as the 
true expression of one who often thinks how little he has 
done for you in comparison with what he would. 

Ever yours, 

A. P. STANLEY. 

1 By the sudden death of Dr. Arnold. 



18 A WRITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

But, of course, the inevitable happened. After a 
few valiant but quite futile attempts to clear his land 
with his own hands, or with the random labour he could 
find to help him, the young colonist fell back on the 
education he had held so cheap in England, and bravely 
took school-work wherever in the rising townships of 
the infant colony he could find it. Meanwhile his 
youth, his pluck, and his Oxford distinctions had 
attracted the kindly notice of the Governor, Sir George 
Grey, who offered him his private secretaryship one 
can imagine the twinkle in the Governor's eye, when 
he first came across my father building his own hut 
on his section outside Wellington ! The offer was 
gratefully refused. But another year of New Zealand 
life brought re-consideration. The exile begins to speak 
of ' loneliness ' in his letters home, to realise that it 
is ' collision ' with other kindred minds that ' kindles 
the spark of thought/ and presently, after a striking 
account of a solitary jvalk across unexplored country 
in New Zealand, he confesses that he is not sufficient 
for himself, and that the growth and vigour of the 
intellect were, for him at least, ' not compatible with 
loneliness.' 

A few months later, Sir William Denison, the newly 
appointed Governor of Van Diemen's Land, hearing 
that a son of Arnold of Rugby, an Oxford First Class 
man, was in New Zealand, wrote to oner my father the 
task of organising primary education in Van Diemen's 

Laud. 

He accepted yet not I think without a sharp sense 
of defeat at the hands of Mother Earth ! set sail for 
Hobart, and took possession of a post that might 
easily have led to great things. His father's fame 



EAELY DAYS 19 

preceded him, and lie was warmly welcomed. The 
salary was good and the field free. Within a few months 
of his landing he was engaged to my mother. They 
were married in 1850, and I, their eldest child, was 
born in June 1851. 

And then the unexpected, the amazing thing hap- 
pened. At the time of their marriage, and for some 
time after, my mother, who had been brought up in a 
Protestant ' scriptural ' atmosphere, and had been 
originally drawn to the younger ' Tom Arnold,' partly 
because he was the son of his father, as Stanley's ' Life ' 
had now made the headmaster known to the world, was 
a good deal troubled by the heretical views of her young 
husband. She had some difficulty in getting him to 
consent to the baptism of his elder children. He was 
still in many respects the ' Philip ' of the ' Bothie,' 
influenced by Goethe, and the French romantics, by 
Emerson, Kingsley and Carlyle, and in touch still 
with all that Liberalism of the later forties in Oxford, 
of which his most intimate friend, Arthur Clough, and 
his elder brother, Matthew Arnold, were to become the 
foremost representatives. But all the while, under the 
surface, an extraordinary transformation was going on. 
He was never able to explain it afterwards, even to me, 
who knew him best of all his children. I doubt whether 
he ever understood it himself. But he who had only 
once crossed the High Street to hear Newman preach, 
and felt no interest in the sermon, now, on the other 
side of the world, surrendered to Newman's influence. 
It is uncertain if they had ever spoken to each other 
at Oxford ; yet that subtle pervasive intellect which 
captured for years the critical and sceptical mind of 
Mark Pattison, and indirectly transformed the Church 



20 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

of England after Newman himself had left it, now, 
reaching across the world, laid hold on Arnold's son, 
when Arnold himself was no longer there to fight 
it. A general reaction against the negations and 

C? C7 v2 

philosophies of his youth set in for ' Philip,' as 
inevitable in his case as the revolt against St. Sulpice 
was for Ernest Renan. For my father was in truth 
born for religion, as his whole later life showed. In 
that he was the true son of Arnold of Rugby. But 
his speculative Liberalism had carried him so much 
further than his father's had ever gone, that the recoil 
was correspondingly great. The steps of it are dim. 
He was ' struck ' one Sunday with the ' authoritative ' 
tone of the First Epistle of Peter. Who and what was 
Peter ? What justified such a tone ? At another time 
he found a Life of St. Brigit of Sweden at a country 
inn, when he was on one of his school -inspecting journeys 
across the island. And he records a mysterious influence 
or ' voice ' from it, as he rode in meditative solitude 
through the sunny spaces of the Tasmanian bush. 
Last of all, he 'obtained' from England no doubt 
the ' Tracts for the Times.' And as he went through 
them, the same documents, and the same arguments, 
which had taken Newman to Rome, nine years before, 
worked upon his late and distant disciple. But who 
can explain * conversion ' ? Is it not enough to say, 
as was said of old 'The Holy Ghost fell on them 
that believed ' ? The great ' Malignant ' had indeed 
triumphed. In October, 1854, my father was received 
at Hobart, Tasmania, into the Church of Rome ; and 
two years later, after he had reached England, and 
written to Newman asking the new Father of the 
Oratory to receive him, Newman replied 



EARLY DAYS 21 

How strange it seems ! What a world this is ! I knew your 
father a little, and I really think I never had any unkind 
feeling towards him. I saw him at Oriel on the Purification 
before (I think) his death (January 1842). I was glad to meet 
him. If I said ever a harsh thing against him I am very sorry 
for it. In seeing you, I should have a sort of pledge that he 
at the moment of his death made it all up with me. Excuse 
this. I came here last night, and it is so marvellous to have 
your letter this morning. 

So, for the moment, ended one incident in the long 
bout between two noble fighters, Arnold and Newman, 
each worthy of the other's steel. For my father, indeed, 
this act of surrender was but the beginning of a long and 
troubled history. My poor mother felt as though the 
earth had crumbled under her. Her passionate affec- 
tion for my father endured till her latest hour, but she 
never reconciled herself to what he had done. There 
was in her an instinctive drend of Catholicism, of which 
I have suggested some of the origins ancestral and 
historical. It never abated. Many years afterwards, 
in writing * Helbeck of Bannisdale,' I drew upon what I 
remembered of it in describing some traits in Laura 
Fountain's inbred, and finally indomitable resistance, 
to the Catholic claim upon the will and intellect of 
men. 

And to this trial in the realm of religious feelirg there 
were added all the practical difficulties into which my 
father's action plunged her, and his children. The 
Tasmanian appointment had to be given up, for the 
feeling in the colony was strongly anti -Catholic ; and 
we came home, as I have described, to a life of struggle, 
privation, and constant anxiety, in which my mother 
suffered not only for herself, but for her children. 



22 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

But after all there were bright spots. My father and 
mother were young ; my mother's eager sympathetic 
temper brought her many friends ; and for us children, 
Fox How and its dear inmates opened a second home, 
and new joys, which upon myself in particular left 
impressions never to be effaced or undone. Let me try 
and describe that house and garden and those who lived 
in it, as they were in 1856. 






CHAPTER II 
Fox How 

THE grey stone house stands now, as it stood then, 
on a * how ' or rising ground in the beautiful Westmor- 
land valley leading from Ambleside to Rydal. The 
* Doctor ' built it as a holiday paradise for himself 
and his children, in the year 1833. It is a modest 
building, with ten bedrooms and three sitting-rooms. 
Its windows look straight into the heart of Fairfield, 
the beautiful semi-circular mountain which rears its 
hollowed front and buttressing scaurs against the north, 
far above the green floor of the valley. That the house 
looked north never troubled my grandfather or his 
children. What they cared for was the perfect outline 
of the mountain wall, the * pensive glooms,' hovering 
in that deep breast of Fairfield, the magic never-ending 
chase of sunlight and cloud across it on fine days, and 
the beauty of the soft woodland clothing its base. The 
garden was his children's joy as it became mine. Its 
little beck with its mimic bridges, its encircling river, 
its rocky knolls, its wild strawberries and wild rasp- 
berries, its queen of birch-trees rearing a stately head 
against the distant mountain, its rhododendrons growing 
like weeds on its mossy banks, its velvet turf, and long 

23 



24 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

silky grass in the parts left wild all these things 
have made the joy of three generations. 

Inside, Fox How was comfortably spacious, and 
I remember what a palace it appeared to my childish 
eyes, fresh from the tiny cabin of a 400- ton sailing-ship, 
and the rough life of a colony. My grandmother, its 
mistress, was then sixty-one. Her beautiful hair was 
scarcely touched with grey, her complexion was still 
delicately clear, and her soft brown eyes had the eager 
sympathetic look of her Cornish race. Charlotte Bronte, 
who saw her a few years earlier, while on a visit to 
Miss Martineau, speaks of her as having been a * very 
pretty woman/ and credits her and her daughters with 
' the possession of qualities the most estimable and 
endearing/ In another letter, however, written to a 
less familiar correspondent, to whom Miss Bronte, as 
the literary lady, with a critical reputation to keep up, 
expresses herself in a different and more artificial tone, 
she again describes my grandmother as good and charm- 
ing, but doubts her claim to ' power and completeness 
of character/ The phrase occurs in a letter describing 
a call at Fox How, and its slight pomposity makes the 
contrast with the passage in which Matthew Arnold 
describes the same visit the more amusing. 

At seven came Miss Martineau, and Miss Bronte (Jane 
Eyre) ; talked to Miss Martineau (who blasphemes frightfully) 
about the prospects of the Church of England, and, wretched 
man that I am, promised to go and see her cow-keeping miracles 
to-morrow, I who hardly know a cow from a sheep. I talked 
to Miss Bronte (past thirty and plain, with expressive grey 
eyes though) of her curates, of French novels, and her education 
in a school at Brussels, and sent the lions roaring to their dens 
at half-past nine. 



FOX HOW 26 

No one indeed would have applied the word ' power ' 
to my grandmother, unless they had known her very well. 
The general impression was always one of gentle sweet- 
ness and soft dignity. But the phrase ' completeness of 
character,' happens to sum up very well the impression 
left by her life both on kindred and friends. What 
Miss Bronte exactly meant by it, it is difficult to say. 
But the widowed mother of nine children, five of them 
sons, and all of them possessed of strong will and quick 
intelligence, who was able so to guide their young lives, 
that to her last hour, thirty years after her husband's 
death had left her alone with her task, she possessed 
their passionate reverence and affection, and that each 
and all of them would have acknowledged her as among 
the dearest and noblest influences in their lives, can 
hardly be denied ' completeness of character.' Many 
of her letters lie before me. Each son and daughter, as 
he or she went out into the world, received them with 
the utmost regularity . They knew that every incident 
in their lives interested their mother ; and they in their 
turn were eager to report to her everything that came 
to them, happy or unhappy, serious or amusing. And 
this relation of the family to their mother only grew 
and strengthened with years. As the daughters married, 
their husbands became so many new and devoted sons 
to this gentle, sympathetic, and yet firm-natured 
woman. Nor were the daughters-in-law less attached 
to her, and the grandchildren who in due time began 
to haunt Fox How. In my own life I trace her letters 
from my earliest childhood, through my life at school, 
to my engagement and marriage ; and I have never 
ceased to feel a pang of disappointment that she died 
before my children were born. Matthew Arnold adored 



26 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

her, and wrote to her every week of his life. So did her 
other children. William Forster, throughout his busy 
life in Parliament, vied with her sons in tender consider- 
ation and unfailing loyalty. And every grandchild 
thought of a visit to Fox How as not only a joy but 
an honour. Indeed nothing could have been more 
' complete,' more rounded, than my grandmother's 
character and life as they developed through her eighty- 
three years. She made no conspicuous intellectual 
claim, though her quick intelligence, her wide sympathies 
and clear judgment, combined with something ardent 
and responsive in her temperament, attracted and 
held able men ; but her personality was none the 
less strong because it was so gently, delicately served 
by looks and manner. 

Perhaps the * completeness ' of my grandmother's 
character will be best illustrated by one of her farrily 
letters, a letter which may recall to some readers 
Stevenson's delightful poem on the mother who sits 
at home watching the fledglings depart from the 
nest. 

So from the hearth the children flee, 

By that almighty hand 
Austerely led ; so one by sea 

Goes forth, and one by land ; 

Nor aught of all man's sons escapes from that command. 



And as the fervent smith of yore 

Beat out the glowing blade, 
Nor wielded in the front of war 

The weapons that he made, 

But in the tower at home still plied his ringing trade ; 



FOX HOW 27 

So like a sword the son shall roam 

On nobler missions sent ; 
And as the smith remained at home 

In peaceful turret pent, 

So sits the while at home the mother well content. 

The letter was written to my father in New Zealand 
in the year 1848, as a family chronicle. The brothers 
and sisters named in it are Walter, the youngest of the 
family, a middy of fourteen, on board ship, and not 
very happy in the Navy, which he was ultimately to 
leave for Durham University and business ; Willy, in 
the Indian Army, afterwards the author of ' Oakfield,' 
a novel attacking the abuses of Anglo-Indian life, and 
the first Director of Public Instruction in the Punjab 
commemorated by his p<~et brother in * A Southern 
Night' ; Edward, at Oxford ; Mary, the second daugh- 
ter, who at the age of twenty -two had been left a 
widow after a year of married life ; and Fan, the 
youngest daughter of the flock, who now, in 1917, alone 
represents them in the grey house under the fells. 
The little Westmorland farm described is still exactly 
as it was ; ard has still a Richardson for master, 
though of a younger generation. And Rydal Chapel, 
freed now from the pink cement which clothed it in 
those days, and from the high pews familiar to the 
children of Fox How, still sends the cheerful voice of 
its bells through the valley on Sunday mornings. 

The reader will remember, as he reads it, that he 
is in the troubled year of '48, with Chartism at home 
and revolution abroad. The ' painful interest ' with 
which the writer has read dough's * Bothie,' refers, 
I think, to the fact that she has recognised her second 



28 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

son, my father, as to some extent the hero of the 
poem. 

Fox How, Nov. 19, 1848. 

MY DEAREST TOM, ... I am always intending to send 
you something like a regular journal, but twenty days of the 
month have now passed away, and it is not done. Dear Matt, 
who was with us at the beginning, and who I think bore a 
part in our last letters to you, has returned to his post in 
London, and I am not without hope of hearing by to-morrow's 
post that he has run down to Portsmouth to see Walter before 
he sails on a cruise with the Squadron which I believe he was 
to do to-day. But I should think they would hardly leave 
Port in such dirty weather, when the wind howls and the rain 
pours, and the whole atmosphere is thick and lowering as I 
suppose you rarely or never see it in New Zealand. I wish 
the more that Matt may get down to Spithead, because the 
poor little man has been in a great ferment about leaving his 
Ship and going into a smaller one. By the same post I had a 
letter from him, and from Captain Daws, who had been 
astonished and grieved by Walter's coming to him and telling 
him he wished to leave the ship. It was evident that Captain D. 
was quite distressed about it. 

She then discusses, very shrewdly and quietly, the 
reasons for her boy's restlessness, and how best to 
meet it. The letter goes on : 

Certainly there is great comfort in having him with so 
true and good a friend as Captain D. and I could not feel 
justified in acting against his counsel. But as he gets to know 
Walter better, I think it very likely that he will himself think 
it better for him to be in some ship not so likely to stay about 
in harbour as the St. Vincent ; and will judge that with a 
character like his it might be better for him to be on some 
more distant stations. 

I write about all this as coolly as if he were not my own 
dear youngest born, the little dear son whom I have so 
cherished , and who was almost a nursling still, when the bond 
which kept us all together was broken. But I believe I do 



FOX HOW 29 

truly feel that if my beloved sons are good and worthy of the 
name they bear, are in fact true, earnest, Christian men, I 
have no wish left for them no selfish longings after their 
companionship, which can for a moment be put in comparison 
with such joy. Thus it almost' seemed strange to me when 
in a letter the other day from Willy to Edward, in reference to 
his E's future destination Willy rather urged upon him a 
home, domestic life, on my account, as my sons were already 
so scattered. As I say, those loving words seemed strange 
to me ; because I have such an overpowering feeling that the 
all-in-all to me is that my sons should be in just that vocation 
in life most suited to them, and most bringing out what is 
highest and best in them ; whether it might be in England, or 
at the furthest extremity of the world. 



November 24, 1848. I have been unwell for some days, 
dearest Tom, and this makes me less active in all my usual 
employments, but it shall not if I can help it, prevent my 
making some progress in this letter, which in less than a week 
may perhaps be on its way to New Zealand. I have just 
sent Fan downstairs, for she nurses her Mother till I begin 
to think some change good for her. She has been reading 
aloud to me, and now, as the evening advances I have asked 
some of them to read to me a long poem by Clough (the 
'Bothie') which I have no doubt will reach you. It does not 
look attractive to me, for it is in English Hexameters, which 
are to me very cumbrous and uninviting ; but probably that 
may be for some want of knowledge in my own ear and taste. 
The poem is addressed to his pupils of last summer, and in 
scenery etc. will have, I suppose, many touches from his 
Highland residence ; but, in a brief Preface, he says that 
the tale itself is altogether fiction. 



To turn from things domestic to things at large, what a 
state of things is this at Berlin ! a state of siege declared, and 
the King at open issue with his representatives ! from the 
country districts, people flocking to give him aid, while the 



80 A WRITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

great towns are almost in revolt. ' Always too late ' might, 
I suppose, have been his motto ; and when things have been 
given with one hand, he has seemed too ready to withdraw 
them with the other. But, after all, I must and do believe 
that he has noble qualities, so to have won Bunsen's love and 
respect. 

November 25. Mary is preparing a long letter, and it will 
therefore matter the less if mine is not so long as I intended. 
I have not yet quite made up the way I have lost in my late 
indisposition, and we have such volumes of letters from dear 
Willy to answer, that I believe this folio will be all I can send 
to you, my own darling ; but y6u do not dwell in my heart 
or my thoughts less fondly. I long inexpressibly to have some 
definite ideas of what you are now after some eight months of 
residence doing, thinking, feeling ; what are your occupa- 
tions in the present, what your aims and designs for the future. 
The assurance that it is your first and heartfelt desire to please 
God, my dear son ; that you have struggled to do this and not 
allowed yourself to shrink from whatever you felt to be in- 
volved in it, this is, and will be my deepest and dearest comfort, 
and I pray to Him to guide you into all truth. But though 
supported by this assurance, I do not pretend to say that 
often and often I do not yearn over you in my thoughts, and 
long to bestow upon you in act and word as well as in thought, 
some of that overflowing love which is cherished for you in 
your home. 

And here follows a tender mother-word in reference to 
an early and unrequited attachment of my father's, 
the fate of which may possibly have contributed to the 
restlessness which sent him beyond the seas. 

But, dear Tom, I believe that though the hoped for 
flower and fruit have faded, yet that the plant has been 
strengthened and purified. ... It would be a grief to me not 
to believe that you will yet be most happy in married life ; 



FOX HOW 81 

and when you can make to yourself a home I shall perhaps 
lose some of my restless longing to be near you and ministering 
to your comfort, and sharing in your life if I can think of you 
as cheered and helped by one who loved you as I did your 
own beloved father. 

Sunday, November 26. Just a year, my son, since you 
left England ! But I really must not allow myself to dwell on 
this, and all the thoughts it brings with it ; for I found last 
night that the contrast between the fulness of thought and 
feeling, and my own powerlessness to express it weighed on 
me heavily ; and not having yet quite recovered my usual tone 
I could not well bear it. So I will just try to collect for you 
a few more home Memoranda, and then have done. . . . Our 
new tenant, James Eichardson, is now fairly established at his 
farm, and when I went up there and saw the cradle and the 
happy childish faces around the table, and the rows of oatmeal 
cake hanging up, and the cheerful, active Mother going hither 
and thither now to her Dairy now guiding the steps of the 
little one that followed her about and all the time preparing 
things for her husband's return from his work at night, I could 
not but feel that it was a very happy picture of English life. 
Alas ! that there are not larger districts where it exists ! But 
I hope there is still much of it ; and I feel that while there is 
an awful under-current of misery and sin the latter both 
caused by the first and causing it and while, on the surface, 
there is carelessness, and often recklessness and hardness and 
trifling, yet that still, in our English society, there is, between 
these two extremes, a strength of good mixed with baser 
elements, which must and will, I fully believe, support us 
nationally in the troublous times which are at hand on 
which we are actually entered. 

But again I am wandering, and now the others have gone 
off to Rydal Chapel without me this lovely Sunday morning. 
There are the bells sounding invitingly across the valley, and 
the evergreens are white and sparkling in the sun. 

I have a note from Clough. . . . His poem is as remarkable, 



32 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

I think, as you would expect, coming from him. Its power 
quite overcame my dislike to the measure so far at least as 
to make me read it with great interest often, though, a painful 
one. And now I must end. 

As to Miss Bronte's impressions of Matthew Arnold 
in that same afternoon call of 1850, they were by no 
means flattering. She understands that he was already 
the author of ' a volume of poems ' (The Poems by A, 
1849), and remarks that his manner ' displeases from its 
seeming foppery/ but she recognises, nevertheless, in 
conversation with him, ' some genuine intellectual aspir- 
ations ! ' It was but a few years later that my uncle 
paid his poet's homage to the genius of the two sisters 
to Charlotte of the ' expressive grey eyes ' to Emily of 
the ' chainless soul/ I often try to picture their meeting 
in the Fox How drawing-room : Matthew Arnold, tall, 
handsome, in the rich opening of his life, his first poetic 
honours thick upon him, looking with a half -critical, 
half-humorous eye at the famous little lady whom 
Miss Martineau had brought to call upon his mother ; 
and beside him that small intrepid figure, on which the 
worst storms of life had already beaten, which was but 
nve short years from its own last rest. I doubt 
whether, face to face, they would ever have made 
much of each other. But the sister who could write 
of a sister's death as Charlotte wrote, in the letter 
that every lover of great prose ought to have by 
heart : 

Emily suffers no more from pain or weakness now, she 
never will suffer more in this world. She is gone, after a hard, 
short conflict. . . . We are very calm at present, why should we 
be otherwise ? The anguish of seeing her suffer is over ; the 
spectacle of the pains of death is gone ; the funeral day is past. 



FOX HOW 



88 



We feel she is at peace. No need now to tremble for the hard 
frost and the keen wind. Emily does not feel them. 

must have stretched out spiritual hands to Matthew 
Arnold, had she lived to read 'A Southern Night* 
that loveliest, surely, of all laments of brother for 
brother. 



CHAPTER III 

THE FAMILY OF Fox How 

DR. ARNOLD'S eldest daughter, Jane Arnold, after- 
wards Mrs. W. E. Forster, my godmother, stands out 
for me on the tapestry of the past, as one of the 
noblest personalities I have ever known. She was 
twenty-one when her father died, and she had been his 
chief companion among his children for years before 
death took him from her. He taught her Latin and 
Greek, he imbued her with his own political and historical 
interests, and her ardent Christian faith answered to his 
own. After his death she was her mother's right hand 
at Fox How ; and her letters to her brothers to my 
father especially, since he was longest and farthest 
away show her quick and cultivated mind, and all 
the sweetness of her nature. We hear of her teaching 
a younger brother Latin and Greek ; she goes over to 
Miss Martineau on the other side of the valley to trans- 
late some German for that busy woman ; she reads 
Dante beside her mother, when the rest of the family 
have gone to bed ; she sympathises passionately with 
Mazzini and Garibaldi ; and every week, she walks over 
Loughrigg through fair weather and foul, summer and 
winter, to teach in a night school at Skelwith. Then the 

31 






THE FAMILY OF FOX HOW 85 

young Quaker manufacturer William Forster appears 
on the scene, and she falls happily and completely in 
love. Her letters to the brother in New Zealand 
become, in a moment, all joy and ardour, and nothing 
could be prettier than the account, given by one of the 
sisters, of the quiet wedding in Rydal Chapel, the family 
breakfast, the bride's simple dress and radiant look, 
Matthew Arnold giving his sister away, with the great 
fells standing sentinel. And there exists a delightful 
unpublished letter by Harriet Martineau which gives 
some idea of the excitement roused in the quiet Amble- 
side valley by Jane Arnold's engagement to the tall 
Yorkshireman who came from surroundings so different 
from the academic and scholarly world in which the 
Arnolds had been brought up. 

Then followed married life at Rawdon near Brad- 
ford, with supreme happiness at home, and many and 
growing interests in the manufacturing, religious and 
social life around the young wife. In 1861 William 
Forster became member for Bradford, and in 1869 
Gladstone included him in that Ministry of all the 
talents, which foundered under the onslaughts of 
Disraeli in 1874. Forster became Vice-President of the 
Council, which meant Minister for Education, with 
a few other trifles like the cattle-plague thrown in. 
The Education Bill, which William Forster brought in 
in 1870 (as a girl of eighteen, I was in the Ladies' 
Gallery of the House of Commons on the great day to 
hear his speech) has been the foundation stone ever 
since of English popular education. It has always been 
clear to me that the scheme of the Bill was largely 
influenced by William Forster's wife, and through her, 
by the convictions and beliefs of her father. The 



86 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

compromise by which the Church schools, with the 
creeds and the Church catechism, were preserved, under 
a conscience clause, while the dissenters got their way 
as to the banishment of creeds and catechisms, and the 
substitution for them of ' simple Bible teaching,' in 
the schools founded under the new School Boards, 
which the Bill set up all over England, has practically 
with of course modifications held its ground for nearly 
half a century. It was illogical; and the dissenters have 
never ceased to resent the perpetuation of the Church 
school which it achieved. But English life is illogical. 
It met the real situation ; and it would never have taken 
the shape it did in my opinion but for the ardent 
beliefs of the young and remarkable woman, at once a 
strong Liberal, and a devoted daughter of the English 
Church, as Arnold, Kingsley and Maurice understood it, 
who had married her Quaker husband in 1850, and 
had thereby been the innocent cause of his automatic 
severance from the Quaker body. His respect for her 
judgement and intellectual power was only equalled by 
his devotion to her. And when the last great test of 
his own life came, how she stood by him ! through 
those terrible days of the Land League struggle, 
when, as Chief Secretary for Ireland, Forster carried 
his life in his hand month after month, to be worn 
out finally by the double toil of Parliament and 
Ireland, and to die just before Mr. Gladstone split 
the Liberal party in 1886, by the introduction of the 
Home Rule Bill, in which Forster would not have 
followed him. 

I shall, however, have something to say later on in 
these Reminiscences about those tragic days. To those 
who watched Mrs. Forster through them, and who knew 






THE FAMILY OF FOX HOW 87 

her intimately, she was one of the most interesting 
figures of that crowded time. Few people, however, 
outside the circle of her kindred, knew her intimately. 
She was of course in the ordinary social and political 
world, both before and after her husband's entrance 
upon office, and admission to the Cabinet ; dining out 
and receiving at home ; attending Drawing-rooms and 
public functions ; staying at country houses, and 
invited to Windsor, like other Ministers' wives, and 
keenly interested in all the varying fortunes of Forster's 
party. But though she was in that world, she was 
never truly of it. She moved through it, yet veiled 
from it, by that pure, unconscious selflessness, which 
is the saint's gift. Those who ask nothing for them- 
selves, whose whole strength is spent on affections that 
are their life, and on ideals at one with their affections, are 
not easily popular, like the self-seeking, parti-coloured 
folk who make up the rest of us ; who flatter, caress, 
and court, that we in our turn may be flattered and 
courted. Their gentleness masks the indomitable soul 
within ; and so their fellows are often unaware of their 
true spiritual rank. 

It is interesting to recall the instinctive sympathy 
with which a nature so different from Charlotte Bronte's 
as that of Arnold's eldest daughter, met the challenge 
of the Bronte genius. It would not have been wonder- 
ful in those days if the quiet Fox How household, 
with its strong religious atmosphere, its daily psalms 
and lessons, its love for ' The Christian Year,' its belief 
in ' discipline ' (how that comes out in all the letters !) 
had been repelled by the blunt strength of ' Jane 
Eyre ' ; just as it would not have been wonderful if 
they had held aloof from Miss Martineau, in the days 



38 

when it pleased that remarkable woman to preach 
mesmeric atheism, or atheistic mesmerism, as we choose 
to put it. But there was a lifelong friendship between 
them and Harriet Martineau ; and they recognised at 
once the sincerity and truth the literary rai.k in fact 
of ' Jane Eyre.' Not long after her marriage, Jane 
Forster with her husband went over to Ha worth to 
see Charlotte Bronte. My aunt's letter, describing the 
visit to the dismal parsonage and church, is given 
without her name in Mrs. GaskelFs ' Life,' and Mr. 
Shorter in reprinting it in the second of his large 
volumes, does not seem to be aware of the identity 
of the writer. 

Miss Bronte put me so in mind of her own * Jane Eyre ' 
[wrote my godmother]. She looked smaller than ever, and 
moved about so quietly and noiselessly, just like a little bird, as 
Eochester called her ; except that all birds are joyous, and that 
joy can never have entered that house since it was built. And 
yet, perhaps, when that old man (Mr. Bronte) married and took 
home his bride, and children's voices and feet were heard 
about the house, even that desolate graveyard and biting 
blast could not quench cheerfulness and hope. Now (i.e. 
since the deaths of Emily and Anne) there is somethirg touching 
in the sight of that little creature entombed in such a place, 
and moving about herself there like a spirit ; especially when 
you think that the slight still frame encloses a force of 
strong, fiery life, which nothing has been able to freeze or 
extinguish. 

This letter was written before my birth, and about 
six years before the writer of it appeared, as an angel 
of help, in the dingy dockside inn, where we tired 
travellers had taken shelter on our arrival from the 
other side of the world, and where I was first kissed by 
my godmother. As I grew up into girlhood, * Aunt K.' 



THE FAMILY OF FOX HOW 



39 



(K. was the pet name by which Matthew Arnold always 
wrote to her) became for me part of the magic of Fox 
How, though I saw her of course often in her own home 
also. I felt towards her a passionate and troubled 
affection. She was to me 'a thing enskied' and 
heavenly for all her quick human interests, and her 
sweet ways with those she loved. How could anyone 
be so good ! was often the despairing reflection of the 
child who adored her, caught herself in the toils of a 
hot temper and a stubborn will ; but all the same to 
see her enter a room was joy, and to sit by her the highest 
privilege. I don't know whether she could be strictly 
called beautiful. But to me everything about her was 
beautiful her broad brow, her clear brown eyes, and 
wavy brown hair, the touch of stately grace with which 
she moved, the mouth so responsive and soft, yet, at 
need, so determined, the hand so delicate, yet so 
characteristic. 

She was the eldest of the nine. Of her relation to the 
next of them her brother Matthew there are many 
indications in the collection of my uncle's letters, edited 
by Mr. George Russell. It was to her that ' Resigna- 
tion ' was addressed, in recollection of their mountain 
walks and talks together ; and in a letter to her, the 
sonnet to Shakespeare ' Others abide our question 
thou art free ' was first written out. Their affection 
for each other, in spite of profound differences of opinion, 
only quickened and deepened with time. 

Between my father and his elder brother Matthew 
Arnold there was barely a year's difference of age. The 
elder was born in December 1822, and the younger in 
November 1823. They were always warmly attached 



40 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

to each other, and in spite of much that was outwardly 
divergent sharply divergent they were more alike 
fundamentally than was often suspected. Both had 
derived from some remoter ancestry possibly through 
their Cornish mother, herself the daughter of a Penrose 
and a Trevenen elements and qualities which were 
lacking in the strong personality of their father. 
Imagination, ' rebellion against fact,' spirituality, a 
tendency to dream, unworldliness, the passionate love 
of beauty and charm, ' ineffectualness ' in the practical 
competitive life these, according to Matthew Arnold, 
when he came to lecture at Oxford on ' The Study of 
Celtic Literature,' were and are the characteristic marks 
of the Celt. They were unequally distributed between 
the two brothers. ' Unworldliness/ * rebellion against 
fact,' c ineffectualness ' in common life, fell rather to 
my father's share than my uncle's ; though my uncle's 
' worldliness,' of which he was sometimes accused, if 
it ever existed, was never more than skin-deep. 
Imagination in my father led to a life-long and mysti- 
cal preoccupation with religion ; it made Matthew 
Arnold one of the great poets of the nineteenth 
century. 

There is a sketch of my father made in 1847, which 
preserves the dreamy, sensitive look of early youth, 
when he was the centre of a band of remarkable friends 
Clough, Stanley, F. T. Palgrave, Alfred Domett 
(Browning's Waring) and others. It is the face nobly 
and delicately cut of one to whom the successes of 
the practical, competitive life could never be of the 
same importance as those events which take place in 
thought, and for certain minds are the only real events. 



THE FAiAIILY OF FOX HOW 41 

' For ages and ages the world has been constantly 
slipping ever more and more out of the Celt's grasp,' 
wrote Matthew Arnold. But all the while the Celt has 
great compensations. To him belongs another world 
than the visible ; the world of phantasmagoria, of 
emotion, the world of passionate beginnings, rather than 
of things achieved. After the romantic and defiant 
days of his youth, my father, still pursuing the same 
natural tendency, found all that he needed in Catholic- 
ism, and specially, I think, in that endless poetry 
and mystery of the Mass, which keeps Catholicism 
alive. 

Matthew Arnold was very different in outward 
aspect. The face, strong and rugged, the large mouth, 
the broad lined brow, and vigorous coal-black hair, bore 
no resemblance, except for that fugitive yet vigorous 
something which we call ' family likeness,' to either his 
father or mother still less to the brother so near to him 
in age. But the Celtic trace is there, though derived, 
I have sometimes thought, rather from an Irish than 
a Cornish source. Dr. Arnold's mother, Martha 
Delafield, according to a genealogy I see no reason to 
doubt, was partly of Irish blood ; one fincK at any 
rate, Fitzgeralds and Dillons among the names of her 
forebears. And I have seen in Ireland faces belonging 
to the ' black Celt ' type faces full of power, and 
humour, and softness, visibly moulded out of the good 
common earth by the nimble spirit within, which have 
reminded me of my uncle. Nothing indeed at first 
sight could have been less romantic or dreamy than his 
outer aspect. * Ineffectualness ' was not to be thought 

of in connection with him. He stood four-square a 

D 



42 A WEITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

courteous, competent man of affairs, an admirable 
inspector of schools, a delightful companion, a guest 
whom everybody wanted, and no one could bind for 
long ; one of the sanest, most independent, most cheerful 
and loveable of mortals. Yet his poems show what 
was the real inner life and genius of the man ; how rich 
in that very ' emotion,' ' love of beauty and charm,' 
' rebellion against fact/ ' spirituality,' ' melancholy ' 
which he himself catalogued as the cradle gifts of the 
Celt. Crossed indeed, always, with the Rugby * earnest- 
ness,' with that in him which came to him from his 
father. 

It is curious to watch the growing perception 
of ' Matt's ' powers among the circle of his nearest kin, 
as it is reflected in these family letters to the emigrant 
brother, which reached him across the seas from 1847 
to 1856, and now lie under my hand. The * Poems by 
A.' came out, as all lovers of English poetry know, in 
1849. My grandmother writes to my father in March 
of that year, after protesting that she has not much 
news to give him : 

But the little volume of Poems ! that is indeed a subject of 
new and very great interest. By degrees we hear more of 
public opinion concerning them, and I am very much mistaken 
if their power both in thought and execution is not more and 
more felt and acknowledged. I had a letter from dear Miss 
Fenwick to-day, whose first impressions were that they were 
by you, for it seems she had heard of the volume as much 
admired, and as by one of the family, and she had hardly 
thought it could be by one so moving in the busy haunts of 
men as dear Matt. . . . Matt himself says ' I have learned a 
good deal as to what is practicable from the objections of people, 
even when I thought them not reasonable, and in some degree 



THE FAMILY OF FOX HOW 43 

they may determine my course as to publishing ; e.g. I had 
thoughts of publishing another volume of short poems next 
spring, and a tragedy I have long had in my head, the spring 
after: at present I shall leave the short poems to take their 
chance, only writing them when I cannot help it, and try to 
get on with my Tragedy (Merope), which however will not be 
a very quick affair. But as that must be in a regular and 
usual form, it may perhaps, if it succeeds, enable me to use 
metres in short poems which seem proper to myself ; whether 
they suit the habits of readers at first sight or not. But all 
this is rather vague at present. ... I think I am getting quite 
indifferent about the book. I have given away the only copy 
I had, and now never look at them. The most enthusiastic 
people about them are young men of course ; but I have heard 
of one or two people who found pleasure in ' Resignation " 
and poems of that stamp, which is what I like.' 

' The most enthusiastic people about them are 
young men, of course.' The sentence might stand as 
the motto of all poetic beginnings. The young poet 
writes first of all for the young of his own day. They 
make his bodyguard. They open to him the gates of 
the House of Fame. But if the divine power is really 
his, it soon frees itself from the shackles of Time and 
Circumstance. The true poet becomes, in the language 
of the Greek epigram on Homer, ' the ageless mouth of 
all the world.' And if ' The Strayed Reveller,' and the 
Sonnet 'To Shakespeare,' and 'Resignation,' delighted 
those who were young in 1849, that same generation, 
as the years passed over it, instead of outgrowing their 
poet, took him all the more closely to their hearts. Only 
so can we explain the steady spread and deepening of his 
poetic reputation which befel my uncle up to the very 
end of his life, and had assured him by then leaving 
out of count the later development of his influence both 



44 A WBITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

in the field of poetry and elsewhere his place in the 
history of English literature. 

But his entry as a poet was gradual, and but little 
heralded, compared to the debuts of our own time. 
Here is an interesting appreciation from his sister Mary, 
about whom I shall have more to say presently. At the 
time this letter was written, in 1849, she was twenty- 
three, and already a widow, after a tragic year of married 
life during which her young husband had developed 
paralysis of the brain. She was living in London, 
attending Bedford College, and F. D. Maurice's sermons, 
much influenced, like her brothers, by Emerson and 
Carlyle, and at this moment, a fine, restless, immature 
creature, much younger than her years in some respects, 
and much older in others with eyes fast opening on 
worlds hitherto unsuspected in the quiet home life. 
She writes : 

I have been in London for several months this year, and 
I have seen a good deal of Matt, considering the very different 
lives we lead. I used to breakfast with him sometimes, and 
then his Poems seemed to make me know Matt so much better 
than I had ever done before. Indeed it was almost like 
a new Introduction to him. I do not think those Poems could 
be read quite independently of their poetical power without 
leading one to expect a great deal from Matt ; without raising 
I mean the kind of expectation one has from and, for those 
who have, in some way or other, come face to face with life 
and asked it, in real earnest, what it means. I felt there was 
so much more of this practical questioning -in Matt's book 
than I was at all prepared for ; in fact that it showed a know- 
ledge of life and conflict which was strangely like experience 
if it was not the thing itself ; and this with all Matt's great 
power I should not have looked for. I do not yet know the 
book well, but I think that ' Mycerinus ' struck me mosi 
perhaps, as illustrating what I have been speaking of. 



THE FAMILY OP FOX HOW 45 

And again, to another member of the family : 

It is the moral strength, or, at any rate, the moral 
consciousness which struck and surprised me so much in the 
poems. I could have been prepared for any degree of poetical 
power, for there being a great deal more than I could at all 
appreciate ; but there is something altogether different from 
this, something which such a man as Clough has, for instance, 
which I did not expect to find in Matt ; but it is there. Of 
course when I speak of his Poems I only speak of the impression 
received from those I understand. Some are perfect riddles 
to me, such as that to the Child at Douglas, which is surely 
more poetical than true. 

Strangely like experience/ The words are an 
interesting proof of the difficulty we all have in seeing 
with accuracy the persons and things which are nearest 
to us. The astonishment of the sisters for the same 
feeling is expressed by Mrs. Forster was very natural. 
In these early days, ' Matt ' often figures in the family 
letters as the worldling of the group the dear one who 
is making way in surroundings quite unknown to the 
Fox How circle, where under the shadow of the 
mountains, the sisters, idealists all of them, looking 
out a little austerely, for all their tenderness, on the 
human scene, are watching with a certain anxiety lest 
Matt should be ' spoiled.' As Lord Lansdowne's private 
secretary, very much liked by his chief, he goes among 
rich and important people, and finds himself as a rule 
much cleverer than they ; above all, able to amuse them, 
so often the surest road to social and other success. 
Already at Oxford * Matt ' had been something of an 
exquisite or as Miss Bronte puts it, a trifle ' foppish ' ; 
and in the (manuscript) ' Fox How Magazine,' to which 
all the nine contributed, and in which Matthew Arnold's 
boyish poems may still be re.id. there are many family 



46 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

jests levelled at Matt's high standard in dress and 
deportment. 

But how soon the nascent dread lest their poet should 
be somehow separated from them by the * great world ' 
passes away from mother and sisters for ever ! With 
every year of his life Matthew Arnold, beside making 
the sunshine of his own married home, became a more 
attached, a more devoted son and brother. The two 
volumes of his published letters are there to show it. 
I will only quote here a sentence from a letter of Mrs. 
Arnold's, written in 1850, a year after the publication 
of the ' Poems by A. 5 She and her eldest daughter, 
then shortly to become William Forster's wife, were at 
the time in London. * K.' had been seriously ill, am 7 
the marriage had been postponed for a short time. 

Matt [says Mrs. Arnold] has been with us almost every day 
since we came up now so long ago ! and it is pleasant indeed 
to see his dear face, and to find him always so affectionate, 
and so unspoiled by his being so much sought after in a kind 
of society entirely different from anything we can enter into. 

But, indeed, the time saved, day after day, for an invalid 
sister, by a run-after voung man of twenty-seven, who 
might so easily have nude one or other of the trifling 
or selfish excuses we are all so ready to make, was only 
a prophecy of those many ' nameless unremembered 
acts ' of simple kindness, which filled the background 
of Matthew Arnold's middle and later life, and were not 
revealed, many of them, even to his own people, till 
after his death kindness to a pupil-teacher, an un- 
successful writer, a hard-worked schoolmaster or 
schoolmistress, a budding poet, a school -boy. It was 
not possible to ' spoil ' Matthew Arnold. Meredith's 
* Comic Spirit ' in him, his irrepressible humour, would 






THE FAMILY OF FOX HOW 47 

alone have saved him from it. And as to his relation 
to ' society,' and the great ones in it, no one more frankly 
amused himself within certain very definite limits 
with the * cakes and ale ' of life, and no one held more 
lightly to them. He never denied none but the 
foolish ever do deny the immense personal oppor- 
tunities and advantages of an aristocratic class, 
wherever it exists. He was quite conscious none but 
those without imagination can fail to be conscious 
of the glamour of long descent and great affairs. But 
he laughed at the ' Barbarians,' the materialised or 
stupid holders of power and place, and their ' fortified 
posts,' i.e. the country houses, just as he laughed at the 
Philistines and Mr. Bottles ; when he preached a sermon 
in later life, it was on Menander's motto * Choose 
Equality ' ; and he and Clough the Republican were 
not really far apart. He mocked even at Clough indeed, 
addressing his letters to him ' Citizen Clough, Oriel 
Lyceum, Oxford ' ; but in the midst of the revolutionary 
hubbub of '48 he pours himself out to Clough only 
he and ' Thyrsis,' to use his own expression in a letter, 
' agreeing like two lambs in a world of wolves,' and in 
his early sonnet (1848) ' To a Republican Friend ' (who 
was certainly Clough), he says : 

If sadness at the long heart-wasting show 
Wherein earth's great ones are disquieted ; 
If thoughts, not idle, while before me flow 

The armies of the homeless and unfed 
If these art- yours, if this is what you are, 
Ihen 1 a in yours, and \\hul you fuel, 1 share. 

Yet, as he adds, in the succeeding sonnet, he has no 



48 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

belief in sudden radical change, nor in any earthly 
millennium 

Seeing this vale, this earth, whereon we dream, 
Is on all sides o'ershadowed by the high 
Uno'erleaped mountains of necessity, 
Sparing us narrower margin than we dream. 

On the eagerness with which Matthew Arnold fol- 
lowed the revolutionary spectacle of '48, an unpublished 
letter written piquantly enough ! from Lansdowne 
House itself, on February 28, in that famous year, to 
my father in New Zealand, throws a vivid light. One 
feels the artist in the writer. First, the quiet of the 
great house and courtyard, the flower-pricked grass, 
the * still-faced babies ' : then the sudden clash of 
the street-cries ! ' Your uncle's description of this 
house,' writes the present Lord Lansdowne, in 1910, 
'might almost have been written yesterday, instead 
of in 1848. Little is changed, Romulus and Remus 
and the she-wolf are still on the top of the book-case, 
and the clock is still hard by ; but the picture of 
the Jewish Exiles . . . has been given to a local 
School of Art in Wiltshire ! The green lawn remains, 
but I am afraid the crocuses, which I can remember as 
a child, no longer come up through the turf. And 
lastly one of the "still-faced babies" (i.e. Lord Lans- 
downe himself) is still often to be seen in the gravel 
court ! He was three years old when the letter was 
written.' 

Here then is the letter : 

Lansdowne House, Feb 8, 1848. 

MY DEAREST TOM, . . . Hore I sit, opposite a marble 
group of Romulus and Remus and the wolf ; the two children 
fighting like mad, and the limp-uddered she-wolf affectionately 



THE FAMILY OF FOX HOW 49 

snarling at the little demons struggling on her back. Above 
it is a great picture, Eembrandt's Jewish Exiles, which would 
do for Consuelo and Albert resting in one of their wanderings, 
worn out upon a wild stony heath sloping to the Baltic she 
leaning over her two children who sleep in their torn rags at 
her feet. Behind me a most musical clock, marking now 24 
Minutes past 1 P.M. On my left two great windows looking out 
on the court in front of the house, through one of which, slightly 
opened, comes in gushes the soft damp breath, with a tone of 
spring-life in it, which the close of an English February some- 
times brings so different from a November mildness. The 
green lawn which occupies nearly half the court is studded 
over with crocuses of all colours growing out of the grass, 
for there are no flower beds ; delightful for the large still-faced 
white-robed babies whom their nurses carry up and down on 
the gravel court where it skirts the green. And from the 
square and the neighbouring streets, through the open door 
whereat the civil porter moves to and fro, come the sounds 
of vehicles and men, in all gradations, some from near and some 
from far, but mellowed by the time they reach this backstanding 
lordly mansion. 

But above all cries comes one whereat every stone in this 
and other lordly mansions may totter and quake for fear : 

' Se . . . c . . . ond Edition of the Morning Herald L . . . 
a ... test news from Paris : arrival of the King of the 
French.' 

I have gone out and bought the said portentous Herald, and 
send it herewith, that you may read and know. As the human 
race for ever stumbles up its great steps, so it is now. You 
remember the Eeform Banquets (in Paris) last summer ? 
well ! the diners omitted the king's health, and abused 
Guizot's majority as corrupt and servile : the majority and 
the king grew excited ; the Government forbade the Banquets 
to continue. The king met the Chamber with the words 
'passions aveugles ' to characterise the dispositions of the 
Banqueters : and Guizot grandly declared against the spirit 
of Revolution all over the world. His practice suited his 



60 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

words, or seemed to suit it, for both in Switzerland and Italy, 
the French Government incurred the charge of siding against 
the Liberals. Add to this the corruption cases you remember, 
the Praslin murder, and later events, which powerfully stimu- 
lated the disgust (moral indignation that People does not feel !) 
entertained by the lower against the governing class. 

Then Thiers, seeing the breeze rising, and hoping to use 
it, made most telling speeches in the debate on the Address, 
clearly denning the crisis as a question between revolution 
and counter-revolution, and declaring enthusiastically for the 
former. Lamartine and others, the sentimental and the plain 
honest, were very damaging on the same side. The Govern- 
ment were harsh abrupt almost scornful. They would not 
yield would not permit banquets : would give no Reform 
till they chose. Guizot spoke (alone in the Chamber I think) 
to this effect. With decreasing Majorities the Government 
carried the different clauses of the address, amidst furious 
scenes ; opposition members crying that they were worse than 
Polignac. It was resolved to hold an Opposition banquet 
in Paris in spite of the Government, last Tuesday, the 22nd. 
In the week between the close of the debate and this day there 
was a profound uneasy excitement, but nothing I think to 
appal the rulers. They had the fortifications : all kinds of 
stores ; and 100,000 troops of the line. To be quite secure 
however, they determined to take a formal legal objection to 
the banquet at the doors ; but not to prevent the procession 
thereto. On that the Opposition published a proclamation 
inviting the National Guard, who sympathised, to form part 
of the procession in uniform. Then the Government for- 
bade the meeting altogether absolutely and the Opposition 
resigned themselves to try the case in a Court of Law. 

So did not the people ! 

They gathered all over Paris : the National Guard, whom 
Ministers did not trust, were not called out : the Line checked 
and dispersed the mob on all points. But next day the mob 
were there again : the Ministers in a constitutional fright called 
out the National Guard : a body of these hard by the Opera 
refused to clear the street : they joined the people. Troops 



THE FAMILY OF FOX HOW 51 

were brought up : the Mob and the National Guard refused to 
give them passage down the Hue Le Pelletier which they 
occupied : after a moment's hesitation, they were marched 
on along the Boulevard. 

This settled the matter ! Everywhere the National Guard 
fraternised with the people : the troops stood indifferent. 
The King dismissed the Ministers : he sent for Mole ; a shade 
better : not enough : he sent for Thiers a pause ; this was 
several shades better still not enough : meanwhile the crowd 
continued, and attacks on different posts, with slight bloodshed, 
increased the excitement : finally the King abdicated in favour 
of the Count of Paris, and fled. The Count of Paris was taken 
by his mother to the Chamber the people broke in ; too late 
not enough : a republic an appeal to the people. The 
royal family escaped to all parts, Belgium, Eu, England : a 
Provisional Government named. 

You will see how they stand : they have adopted the last 
measures of Kevolution. News has just come that the National 
Guard have declared against a Eepublic, and that a collision 
is inevitable. 

If possible I will write by the next mail, and send you 
a later paper than the Herald by this mail. 

Your truly affectionate, dearest Tom, 

M. ARNOLD. 

To this, let me add here two or three other letters 
or fragments, all unpublished, which I find among the 
papers from which I have been drawing, ending, for 
the present, with the jubilant letter describing his 
election to the Poetry Professorship at Oxford, in 
1857. Here, first of all, is an amusing reference, dated 
1849, to Keble, then the idol of every well-disposed 
Anglican household : - 

1 dined last night with a Mr. Grove, 1 a celebrated man of 

1 Afterwards Sir William Grove, F.R.S., author of the famous essaj 
on ' The Con-elation of Physical Force.' 



52 A WRITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

science : his wife is pretty and agreeable, but not on a first 
interview. The husband and I agree wonderfully in some 
points. He is a bad sleeper, and hardly ever free from headache ; 
he equally dislikes and disapproves of modern existence 
and the state of excitement in which everybody lives : and 
he sighs after a paternal despotism and the calm existence of 
a Eussian or Asiatic. He showed me a picture of Faraday, 
which is wonderfully fine : I am almost inclined to get it : 
it has a curious likeness to Keble, only with a calm, earnest 
look unlike the latter's Flibbertigibbet, fanatical, twinkling 
expression. 

Did ever anybody apply such adjectives to John Keble 
before ! Yet if anyone will look carefully at the 
engraving of Keble so often seen in quiet parsonages, 
they will understand, I think, exactly, what Matthew 
Arnold meant. 

In 1850 great changes came upon the Arnold family. 
The ' Doctor's ' three elder children Jane, Matthew, 
and my father married in that year, and a host of new 
interests sprang up for every member of the Fox How 
circle. I find in a letter to my father from Arthur 
Stanley, his father's biographer, and his own Oxford 
Tutor, the following reference to ' Matt's ' marriage, 
and to the second series of Poems containing ' Sohrab 
and Rustum ' which were published in 1854. ' You 
will have heard ' writes Stanley ' of the great success 
of Matt's poems. He is in good heart about them. 
He is also I must say so, though perhaps I have no 
right to say so greatly improved by his marriage 
retaining all the genius and nobleness of mind which 
you remember, with all the lesser faults pruned and 
softened down.' Matt himself wrote to give news of 
his wedding, to describe the bride Judge Wightman's 
daughter, the dear and gracious little lady whom we 



THE FAMILY OF FOX HOW 53 

grandchildren knew and loved as ' Aunt Fanny Lucy ' 
and to wish my father joy of his own. And then 
there is nothing among the waifs and strays that have 
come to me worth printing, till 1855, when my uncle 
writes to New Zealand : 

I hope you have got my book by this time. What you 
will like best, I think, will be the ' Scholar Gipsy.' I am sure 
that old Cumner and Oxford country will stir a chord in you. 
For the preface I doubt if you will care, not having much before 
your eyes the sins and offences at which it is directed : the 
first being that we have numbers of young gentlemen with 
really wonderful powers of perception and expression, but 
to whom there is wholly wanting a ' bedeutendes Individuum ' 
so that their productions are most unedifying and unsatis- 
factory. But this is a long story. 

As to Church matters. I think people in general concern 
themselves less with them than they did when you left England. 
Certainly religion is not, to all appearance at least, losing 
ground here : but since the great people of Newman's party 
went over, the disputes among the comparatively unimportant 
remains of them do not excite much interest. I am going to 
hear Manning at the Spanish Chapel next Sunday. Newman 
gives himself up almost entirely to organising and educating 
the Roman Catholics, and is gone off greatly, they say, as a 
preacher. 

God bless you, my dearest Tom : I cannot tell yon the 
almost painful longing I sometimes have to see you once 
more. 

The following year the brothers met again ; and 
there followed, almost immediately, my uncle's election 
to the Poetry Professorship at Oxford. He writes, 
in answer to my father's congratulations : 

Hampton, May 16 1867. 

MY DEAR TOM, My thoughts have often turned 
to you during my canvass for the Professorship and they 



54 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

have turned to you more than ever during the last few days 
which I have been spending at Oxford. You alone of my 
brothers are associated with that life at Oxford, the freest 
and most delightful part, perhaps, of my life, when with you 
and Clough and Walrond I shook off all the bonds and for- 
malities of the place, and enjoyed the spring of life and that 
unforgotten Oxfordshire and Berkshire country. Do you 
remember a poem of mine called ' The Scholar Gipsy ' ? It 
was meant to fix the remembrance of those delightful wander- 
ings of ours in the Cumner hills before they were quite effaced 
and as such, Clough and Walrond accepted it, and it has had 
much success at Oxford, I am told, as was perhaps likely from 
its couleur locale. I am hardly ever at Oxford now, but the 
sentiment of the place is overpowering to me when I have 
leisure to feel it, and can shake off the interruptions which it 
is not so easy to shake off now as it was when we were young. 
But on Tuesday afternoon I smuggled myself away, and got 
up into one of our old coombs among the Cumner hills, and 
into a field waving deep with cowslips and grasses, and gathered 
such a bunch as you and I used to gather in the cowslip field 
on Lutterworth road long years ago. 

You dear old boy, I love your congratulations although I 
see and hear so little of you, and, alas ! can see and hear but so 
little of you. I was supported by people of all opinions, the 
great bond of union being, I believe, the affectionate interest 
felt in papa's memory. I think it probable that I shall lecture 
in English : there is no direction whatever in the Statute as 
to the language in which the lectures shall be : and the Latin 
has so died out, even among scholars, that it seems idle to 
entomb a lecture which, in English, might be stimulating and 
interesting. 

On the same occasion, writing to his mother, the new 
Professor gives an amusing account of the election day, 
when my uncle and aunt came up to town from 
Hampton, where they were living, in order to get 
telegraphic news of the polling from friends at Oxford. 
* Christ Church ' i.e. the High Church party in Oxford 



55 

had put up an opposition candidate, and the excite- 
ment was great. My uncle was by this time the father 
of three small boys, Tom, Trevenen alias Budge 
and Richard ' Diddy.' 

We went first to the telegraph station at Charing Cross. 
Then, about 4, we got a message from Walrond ' nothing 
certain is known, but it is rumoured that you are ahead.' Then 
we went to get some toys for the children in the Lowther Arcade, 
and could scarcely have found a more genuine distraction 
than in selecting waggons for Tom and Trev, with horses of 
precisely the same colour, not one of which should have a hair 
more in his tail than the other and a musical cart for Diddy. A 
little after five we went back to the telegraph office, and got 
the following message ' Nothing declared, but you are said 
to be quite safe. Go to Eaton Place.' (' Eaton Place ' was then 
the house of Judge Wightman, Mrs. Matthew Arnold's father.) 
' To Eaton Place we went, and then a little after 6 o'clock we 
were joined by the Judge in the highest state of joyful excite- 
ment with the news of my majority of 85, which had been 
telegraphed to him from Oxford after he had started and had 
been given to him at Paddington Station. . . . The income 
is 130 a year or thereabouts : the duties consist as far as I 
can learn in assisting to look over the prize compositions, in 
delivering a Latin oration in praise of founders at every alternate 
commemoration, and in preparing and giving three Latin 
lectures on ancient poetry in the course of the year. These 
lectures 1 hope to give in English. 

The italics are mine. The intention expressed here 
and in the letter to my father was, as is well known, 
carried out, and Matthew Arnold's Lectures at Oxford, 
together with the other poetic and critical work 
produced by him during the years of his professorship, 
became so great a force in the development of English 
criticism and English taste, that the life-like detail of 
this letter acquires a kind of historical value. As a 



56 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

child of fourteen I first made acquaintance with Oxford, 
while my uncle was still Professor. I remember well 
some of his lectures, the crowded lecture-hall, the 
manner and personality of the speaker, and my own 
shy pride in him from a great distance. For I was 
a self-conscious, bookish child, and my days of real 
friendship with him were still far ahead. But during 
the years that followed, the ten years that he held his 
professorship, what a spell he wielded over Oxford, and 
literary England in general ! Looking back one sees how 
the first series of ' Essays in Criticism,' the ' Lectures 
on Celtic Literature,' or ' On translating Homer,' 
c Culture and Anarchy ' and the rest, were all the time 
working on English taste and feeling, whether through 
sympathy or antagonism ; so that after those ten years, 
1857-1867, the intellectual life of the country had ab- 
sorbed, for good and all, an influence, and a stimulus, 
which had set it moving on new paths to new ends. With 
these thoughts in mind, supplying a comment on the 
letter which few people could have foreseen in 1857, let 
me quote a few more sentences : 

Keble voted for me after all. He told the Coleridges he 
was so much pleased with my letter (to the electors) that he 
could not refrain. ... I had support from all sides. Arch- 
deacon Denison voted for me, also Sir John Yarde Buller, 
and Henley, of the high Tory party. It was an immense victory 
some 200 more voted than have ever, it is said, voted in a 
Professorship election before. It is a great lesson to Christ- 
church, which was rather disposed to imagine it could carry 
everything by its great numbers. 

Goodbye my dearest mother. ... I have just been up 
to see the three dear little brown heads on their pillows, all 
asleep. . . . My affectionate thanks to Mrs. Wordsworth 
and Mrs. Fletcher for their kind interest in my success. 



67 

It is pleasant to think of Wordsworth's widow, in 
her ' old age serene and bright,' and of the poet's old 
friend, Mrs. Fletcher, watching and rejoicing in the 
first triumphs of the younger singer. 

So the ten years of approach and attack in the 
intellectual sense came to an end, and the ten central 
years of mastery and success began. Towards the end 
of that time, as a girl of sixteen I became a resident in 
Oxford. Up to then Ruskin the ' Stones of Venice,' 
and certain chapters in ' Modern Painters ' had been 
my chief intellectual passion in a childhood and first 
youth that cut but a very poor figure, as I look back 
upon them, beside the ' wonderful children ' of this 
generation ! But it must have been about 1868 that 
I first read ' Essays in Criticism.' It is not too much 
to say that the book set for me the currents of life ; its 
effect heightened, no doubt, by the sense of kinship. 
Above all it determined in me as in many others, an 
enduring love of France and of French literature, which 
played the part of schoolmaster to a crude youth. I owe 
this to my uncle, and it was a priceless boon. If he had 
only lived a little longer if he had not died so soon 
after I had really begun to know him how many debts 
to him would have been confessed, how many things 
said, which, after all, were never said ! 



CHAPTER IV 
OTHER CHILDREN OF Fox How 

I HAVE now to sketch some other figures in the 
Fox-How circle, together with a few of the intimate 
friends who mingled with it frequently, and very soon 
became names of power to the Tasmanian child also. 
Let me take first Dr. Arnold's third son, ' Uncle 
Willy ' my father's j unior by some four years . William 
Delafield Arnold is secure of long remembrance, one 
would fain think, if only as the subject of Matthew 
Arnold's two memorial poems ' A Southern Night ' 
and ' Stanzas from Carnac. 5 But in truth he had many 
and strong claims of his own. His youth was marked 
by that ' restlessness,' which is so often spoken of in 
the family letters as a family quality and failing. My 
father's ' restlessness ' made him throw up a secure 
niche in English life, for the New Zealand adventure. 
The same temperament in Mary Twining, the young 
widow of twenty-two, took her to London, away from 
the quiet of the Ambleside valley, and made her an 
ardent follower of Maurice, Kingsley and Carlyle. And 
in Willy, the third son, it showed itself first in a revolt 
against Oxford, while he was still at Christchurch, 
leading to his going out to India, and joining the Indian 
Army, at the age of twenty, only to find the life of 

68 



OTHER CHILDREN OF FOX HOW 59 

an Indian subaltern all but intolerable, and to plunge 
for a time at least into fresh schemes of change. 

Among the early photographs at Fox How, there 
is a particularly fine daguerreotype of a young o nicer 
in uniform, almost a boy, slim and well proportioned, 
with piled curly hair, and blue eyes, which in the late 
fifties I knew as ' Uncle Willy ' ; and there were other 
photographs on glass of the same young man, where 
this handsome face appeared again, grown older, 
much older the boyish look replaced by an aspect of 
rather grave dignity. In the later pictures he was 
grouped with children, whom I knew as my Indian 
cousins. But him, in the flesh, I had never seen. He 
was dead. His wife was dead. On the landing bookcase 
of Fox How, there was however a book in two blue 
volumes, which I soon realised as a * novel,' called 
' Oakfield,' which had been written by the handsome 
young soldier in the daguerreotype. I tried to read 
it, but found it was about things and persons in which 
I could then take no interest. But its author 
remained to me a mysteriously attractive figure : and 
when the time came for me to read my Uncle Matthew's 
poems, c A Southern Night,' describing the death at 
Gibraltar of this soldier uncle, became a great favourite 
with me. I could see it all as Matthew Arnold de- 
scribed it >the steamer approaching Gibraltar, the 
landing, and the pale invalid with the signs on him 
of that strange thing called ' death,' which to a child 
that ' feels its life in every limb,' has no real 
meaning, though the talk of it may lead vaguely to 
tears, as that poem often did with me. 

Later on, of course, I read ' Oakfield,' and learnt to 
take a more informed pride in the writer of it. But it 



GO A WKITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

was not until a number of letters written from India 
by William Arnold to my father in New Zealand between 
1848 and 1855, with a few later ones, came into my 
possession, at my father's death, that I really seemed 
to know this dear vanished kinsman, though his orphaned 
children had always been my friends. 

The letters of 1848 and '49 read like notes for ' Oak- 
field.' They were written in bitterness of soul by a 
very young man, with high hopes and ideals, fresh from 
the surroundings of Oxford and Rugby, from the 
training of the Schoolhouse and Fox How, and plunged 
suddenly into a society of boys, the subalterns of the 
Bengal Native Infantry living for the most part in 
idleness, often a vicious idleness, without any restrain- 
ing public opinion, and practically unshepherded, amid 
the temptations of the Indian climate and life. They 
show that the novel is indeed, as was always supposed, 
largely autobiographical, and the references in them to 
the struggle with the iDdian climate point sadly forward 
to the writer's own fate, ten years later, when like the 
hero of his novel, Edward Oakfield, he fell a victim to 
Indian heat and Indian work. The novel was published 
in 1853, while its author was at home on a long sick 
leave, and is still remembered for the anger and scandal 
it provoked in India, and the reforms to which, no 
doubt, after the Mutiny, it was one of the contributing 
impulses. It is indeed full of interest for any student 
of the development of Anglo-Indian life and society; 
even when one remembers how, soon after it was pub- 
lished, the great storm of the Mutiny came rushing over 
the society it describes, changing and uprooting every- 
where. As fiction, it suffers from the Rugby ' earnest- 
ness ' which overmasters in it any purely artistic impulse, 



OTHER CHILDREN OF FOX HOW 61 

while infusing a certain fire and unity of its own. But 
various incidents in the story the quarrel at the 
mess-table, the horse-whipping, the court-martial, the 
death of Vernon, and the meeting between Oakfield 
and Stafford, the villain of the piece, after Chilianwallah 
are told with force, and might have led on, had the 
writer lived, to something more detached and mature 
in the way of novel- writing. 

But there were few years left to him, ' poor gallant 
boy ! ' to quote the phrase of his poet-brother ; and 
within them he was to find his happiness and his oppor- 
tunity in love and in public service, not in literature. 

Nothing could be more pathetic than the isolation 
and revolt of the early letters. The boy Ensign is 
desperately home-sick, pining for Fox How, for his 
mother and sisters, for the Oxford he had so easily 
renounced, for the brothers parted from him by such 
leagues of land and sea. 

The fact that one learns first in India [he says, bitterly] 
is the profound ignorance which exists in England about it. 
You know how one hears it spoken of always as a magnificent 
field for exertion, and this is true enough in one way, for if 
a man does emerge at all, he emerges the more by contrast 
he is a triton among minnows. But I think the responsibility 
of those who keep sending out here young fellows of sixteen and 
seventeen fresh from a private school or Addiscombe is quite 
awful. The stream is so strong, the society is so utterly worldly 
and mercenary in its best phase, so utterly and inconceivably 
low and profligate in its worst, that it is not strange that at 
so early an age, eight out of ten sink beneath it. ... One 
soon observes here how seldom one meets a hapjry man. 

I came out here with three great advantages [he adds]. 
First, being twenty instead of seventeen; secondly, not having 
been at Addiscombe ; third, having been at Rugby and Christ- 
church. This gives me a sort of position but still I know 



62 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

the danger is awful for constitutionally I believe I am as 
little able to stand the peculiar trials of Indian life as anybody. 

And he goes on to say, that if ever he feels himself 
in peril of sinking to the level of what he loathes * I 
will go at once.' By coming out to India he had bound 
himself to one thing only ' to earn my own bread.' 
But he is not bound to earn it ' as a gentleman.' The 
day may come 

When I shall ask for a place on your farm, and if you ask 
how I am to get there, you, Tom, are not the person to deny 
that a man who is in earnest and capable of forming a resolution 
can do more difficult things than getting from India to New 
Zealand ! 

And he winds up with yearning affection towards 
the elder brother so far away. 

I think of you very often our excursion to Keswick 
and Greta Hall, our walk over Hardknot and Wrynose, 
our bathes in the old Allen Bank bathing-place (Grasmere), 
our parting in the cab at the corner of Mount St. One of my 
pleasantest but most difficult problems is when and where we 
shall meet again. 

In another letter written a year later, the tone is 
still despondent. ' It is no affectation to say that I feel 
my life, in one way, cannot now be a happy one.' He 
feels it his duty for the present to ' lie still,' as Keble 
says, to think, it may be to suffer. 'But in my castle- 
buildings I often dream of coming to you.' He appre- 
ciates, more fully than ever before, Tom's motives in 
going to New Zealand, the desire that may move 
a man to live his own life in a new and freer world. 
* But when I am asked, as I often am, why you went, 
I always grin and let people answer themselves ; for 



OTHER CHILDREN OF FOX HOW 63 

I could not hope to explain without preaching a sermon. 
An act of faith and conviction cannot be understood 
by the light of worldly motives and interests ; and to 
blow out this light, and bring the true one, is not the 
work of a young man with his own darkness to struggle 
through ; so I grin as aforesaid.' ' God is teaching us,' 
he adds, i.e. the different members of the family 'by 
separation, absence, and suffering.' And he winds 
up * Goodbye. I never like finishing a letter to you it 
seems like letting you fall back again to such infinite 
distance. And you are often very near me, and the 
thought of you is often cheery and helpful to me in my 
own conflict.' Even up to January, 1850, he is still 
thinking of New Zealand, and signing himself, * ever, 
dear Tom, whether I am destined to see you soon, or 
never again in this world Your most truly affectionate 
brother.' 

Alack, the brothers never did meet again, in this 
world which both took so hardly. But for Willy a 
transformation scene was near. After two years in 
India, his gift and his character had made their mark. 
He had not only been dreaming of New Zealand ; 
besides his daily routine, he had been working hard 
at Indian languages and history. The Lawrences, 
both John and Henry, had found him out, and realised 
his quality. It was at Sir Henry Lawrence's house in 
the spring of 1850, that he met Miss Fanny Hodgson, 
daughter of the distinguished soldier and explorer, 
General Hodgson, discoverer of the sources of the 
Ganges, and at that time the Indian Survey or- General. 
The soldier of twenty-three fell instantly in love, and 
tumult and despondency melted away. The next 
letter to New Zealand is pitched in quite another key. 



64 A WBITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

He still judges Indian life and Indian government with 
a very critical eye. ' The Alpha and Omega of the 
whole evil in Indian Society ' is ' the regarding India 
as a rupee-mine, instead of a Colony, and ourselves 
as Fortune-hunters and Pension-earners rather than 
as emigrants and missionaries.' And outside his 
domestic life his prospects are still uncertain. But 
with every mail one can see the strained spirit relaxing, 
yielding to the spell of love and to the honourable 
interests of an opening life. 

' To-day, my Thomas (October 2, 1850) I sit, a married 
man in the Bengal army writing to a brother, it may 
be a married man, in Van Diemen's Land.' (Rumours 
of Tom's courtship of Julia Sorell had evidently just 
reached him). He goes on to describe his married home 
at Hoshyarpore, and his work at Indian languages. 
He has been reading Carlyle's ' Cromwell,' and mar- 
velling at the ' rapid rush of thought which seems 
more and more to be engrossing people in England ! ' 
' In India you will easily believe that the torpor is 
still unbroken.' (The Mutiny was only seven short 
years ahead !) And he is still conscious of the 'many 
weights which do beset and embitter a man's life in 
India.' But a new stay within, the reconciliation 
that love brings about between a man and the world, 
upholds him. 

* " To draw homewards to the general life," which you, 
and dear Matt himself, and I, and all of us, are or 
at least may be living, independent of all the accidents 
of time and circumstance this is a great alleviation.' 
The ''fundamentals ' are safe. He dwells happily on the 
word ' a good word, in which you and I, so separated, 
as far as accidents go, it may be for all time, can find 



OTHER CHILDEEN OF FOX HOW 65 

great comfort, speaking as it does of Eternity.' One 
sees what is in his mind the brother's ' little book of 
poems ' published a year before : 

Yet they, believe me, who await 

No gifts from chance, have conquered fate, 

They, winning room to see and hear, 

And to men's business not too near 

Though clouds of individual strife 

Draw homeward to the general life. 

To the wise, foolish ; to the world 
Weak ; yet not weak, I might reply, 
Not foolish, Fausta, in His eye, 
To whom each moment in its race, 
Crowd as we will its neutral space, 
Is but a quiet watershed 
Whence, equally, the seas of life and death are fed. 

Six months later the younger brother has heard 
* as a positive fact ' of Tom's marriage, and writes, with 
affectionate ' chaff ' : 

I wonder whether it has changed you much ? not made 
a Tory of you, I'll undertake to say ! But it is wonderfully 
sobering. After all, Master Tom, it is not the very exact finak 
which we should have expected to your Eepublicanism of the 
last three or four years, to find you a respectable married 
man, holding a permanent appointment ! 

Matt's marriage, too, stands pre-eminent among the 
items of family news. What blind judges sometimes, 
the most attached brothers are of each other ! 

I hear too by this mail of Matt's engagement, which suggests 
many thoughts. I own that Matt is one of the very last men 
in the world whom I can fancy happily married or rather 
hnppy in matrimony. But I daresay I reckon without my 



66 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

host, for there was such a ' longum intervallum ' between dear 
old Matt and me, that even that last month in town, when I 
saw so much of him, though there was the most entire absence 
of elder-brotherism on his part, and only the most kind and 
thoughtful affection, for which I shall always feel grateful, 
yet our intercourse was that of man and boy ; and though 
the difference of years was not so formidable as between 
' Matthew ' and Wordsworth, yet we were less than they a 
1 pair of Friends,' though a pair of very loving brothers. 

But even in this gay and charming letter, one begins 
to see the shadows cast by the doom to come. The 
young wife has gone to Simla, having been ' delicate ' 
for some time. The young husband stays behind, 
fighting the heat. 

The hot weather, old boy, is coming on like a tiger. It is 
getting on for ten at night ; but we sit with windows all wide 
open, the Punkah going, the thinnest conceivable garments, 
and yet we sweat, my brother, very profusely. . . . To-morrow 
I shall be up at gun-fire, about half-past four A.M. and drive 
down to the civil station, about three miles off, to see a friend, 
an officer of our own corps. . . who is sick, return, take my 
Bearer's daily account, write a letter or so, and lie down with 
Don Quixote under a punkah, go to sleep the first Chapter 
that Sancho lets me, and sleep till ten, get up, bathe, re-dress 
and breakfast ; do my daily business, such as it is hard 
work, believe me, in a hot sleep-inducing, intestine-withering 
climate, till sunset, when doors and windows are thrown open 
. , . and mortals go out to ' eat the air ' as the natives say. 

The climate indeed had already begun its deadly 
attack upon an organism as fine and sensitive as any 
of the myriad victims which the secret forces of India's 
sun and soil have exacted from her European invaders. 
In 1853, William Delafield Arnold came home invalided, 
with his wife and his two elder children. The third, 



67 

Oakeley (the future War Minister in Mr. Balfour's 
Government), was born in England in 1855. There were 
projects of giving up India and settling at home. 
The young soldier whose literary gift, always conspicuous 
among the nine in the old childish Fox How days, and 
already shown in ' Oakfisld,' was becoming more and 
more marked, was at this time a frequent contributor 
to the Times, the Economist and Fraser, and was presently 
offered the Editorship of the Economist. But just 
as he was about to accept it, came a flattering offer from 
India, no doubt through the influence of Sir John 
Lawrence, of the Directorship of Public Instruction in 
the Punjaub. He thought himself bound to accept it, 
and with his wife and two children went out again at the 
end of 1855. His business was to organise the whole of 
native education in the Punjaub, and he did it so well 
during the short time that remained to him before the 
Mutiny broke out, that during all that time of terror, 
education in the Punjaub was never interrupted, the 
attendances at the schools never dropped, and the young 
Director went about his work, not knowing often, indeed, 
whether the whole province might not be aflame within 
twenty-four hours, and its Anglo-Indian administration 
wiped out, but none the less undaunted and serene. 

To this day, three portrait medals in gold and silver 
are given every year to the best pupils in the schools of 
the Punjaub, the product of a fund raised immediately 
after his death by William Arnold's fellow- workers there, 
in order to commemorate his short heroic course in that 
far land, and to preserve if they could some record of 
that ' sweet stateliness ' of aspect, to use the expression 
of one who loved him, which 'had so fascinated his 
friends.' 



68 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

The Mutiny passed. Sir John Lawrence paid public 
and flattering tribute to the young official who had 
so a. iply justified a great man's choice. And before 
the storm had actually died away, within a fortnight 
of the fall of Delhi, while it was not yet certain that 
the troops on their way would arrive in time to prevent 
further mischief, my uncle, writing to my father of the 
awful days of suspense from the 14th to the 30th of 
September, says : 

A more afflicted country than this has been since I returned 
to it in November 1855 afflicted by Dearth Deluge 
Pestilence far worse than war, if would be hard to imagine. 
In Hie midst of it all, the happiness of our domestic life has 
been almost perfect. 

With that touching sentence the letters to my father, 
so far at least as I possess them, come to an end. Alas ! 
In the following year the gentle wife and mother, worn 
out by India, died at a hill-station in the Himalayas, and 
a few months later, her husband, ill and heart-broken, 
sent his motherless children home by long sea, and 
followed himself by the overland route. Too late ! 
He was taken ill in Egypt, struggled on to Malta, and 
was put ashore at Gibraltar to die. From Cairo he had 
written to the beloved mother who was waiting for him 
in that mountain home he so longed to reach, that he 
hopes to be able to travel in a fortnight. 

But do not trust to this. ... Do not in fact expect me 
till you hear that I am in London. I much fear that it may 
be long before I see dear, dear Fox How. In London I must 
have advice, and I feel sure I shall be ordered to the South of 
England till the hot weather is well advanced. I must wait 
too in London for the darling children. But once in London, 
I cannot but think my dearest mother will manage to see me, 
and I have even had visions of your making one of your spring 



OTHER CHILDREN OF FOX HOW 69 

tours, and going with me to Torquay or wherever I may go. 
. . . Plans plans plans ! They will keep. 

And a few days later : 

As I said before, do not expect, me in England till you hear 
I am there. Perhaps I was too eager to get home. Assuredly 
I have been checked, and I feel as if there were much trouble 
between me and home yet. ... I see in the papers the death 
of dear Mrs. Wordsworth. . . 

Ever my beloved mother . . . 
Your very loving son, 

W. D. ARNOLD. 

He started for England, but at Gibraltar, a dying 
man was carried ashore. His younger brother, sent 
out from England in post haste, missed him by ill chance 
at Alexandria and Malta, and arrived too late. He was 
buried under the shelter of the Rock of Spain and the 
British flag. His intimate friend, Meredith Townsend, 
the joint editor and creator of the Spectator, wrote to 
the Times shortly after his death : 

William Arnold did not live long enough (he was thirty-one) 
to gain his true place in the world, but he had time enough 
given him to make himself of importance to a Government 
like that of Lord Dalhousie, to mould the education of a great 
province, and to win the enduring love of all with whom he 
ever came in contact. 

It was left, however, for his poet-brother to build 
upon his early grave ' the living record of his memory.' 
A month after * Willy's ' death, ' Matt ' was wandering 
where 

beneath me, bright and wide 
Lay the low coast of Brittany. 

with the thought of ' Willy ' in his mind, as he turns to 
the sea that will never now bring the wanderer home. 



70 A WKITEK'S RECOLLECTIONS 

0, could he once have reached the air 
Freshened by plunging tides, by showers ! 
Have felt this breath he loved, of fair 
Cool northern fields, and grain, and flowers. 

He longed for it pressed on ! In vain ! 
At the Straits failed that spirit brave, 
The south was parent of his pain, 
The south is mistress of his grave. 

Or again, in 'A Southern Night ' where he muses 
on the ' two jaded English,' man and wife, who lie, 
one under the Himalayas, the other beside 'the soft 
Mediterranean.' And his first thought is that for the 
' spent ones of a work-day age,' such graves are out of 
keeping. 

In cities should we English lie 

Where cries are rising ever new, 
And men's incessant stream goes by ! 

Not by those hoary Indian hills, 

Not by this gracious Midland sea 
Whose floor to-night sweet moonshine fills 

Should our graves be ! 

Some Eastern sage pursuing ' the pure goal of being ' 
' He by those Indian mountains old, might well repose.' 
Crusader, troubadour, or maiden dying for love 

Such by these waters of romance 
'Twas meet to lay ! 

And then he turns upon himself. For what is beauty, 
what wisdom, what romance, if not the tender goodness 
of women, if not the high soul of youth ? 

Mild o'er her grave, ye mountains, shine ! 

Gently by his, ye waters, glide ! 
To that in you which is divine 

They were allied. 



OTHER CHILDREN OF FOX HOW 71 

Only a few days after their father's death, the four 
orphan children of the William Arnolds arrived at Fox 
How. They were immediately adopted as their own by 
William and Jane Forster, who had no children ; and 
later they added the name of Forster to that of Arnold. 
At that moment I was at school at Ambleside, and I 
remember well my first meeting with the Indian children, 
and how I wondered at their fair skins and golden hair 
and frail ethereal looks. 

By this time, Fox How was in truth a second home 
to me. But I have still to complete the tale of those 
who made it so. Edward Penrose, the Doctor's fourth 
son, who died in 1878, on the threshold of fifty, was a 
handsome bearded man of winning presence, and of 
many friends. He was at Balliol, then a Fellow of All 
Souls, and in Orders. But he first found his real voca- 
tion as an Inspector of Schools in Devon and Cornwall, 
and for eighteen years, from 1860 to 1878, through the 
great changes in elementary education produced by 
his brother-in-law's Education Act, he was the ever- 
welcome friend of teachers and children all over the 
wide and often remote districts of the West country 
which his work covered. He had not the gifts of his 
elder brothers, neither the genius of Matthew nor 
the restless energy and initiative of William Delafield, 
nor the scholarly and researching tastes of my father ; 
and his later life was always a struggle against ill-health. 
But he had Matthew's kindness, and Matthew's humour 
the ' chaff ' between the two brothers was endless ! 
and a large allowance of William's charm. His un- 
conscious talk in his last illness was often of children. 
He seemed to see them before him in the country 
schoolrooms, where his coming the coming of ' the 
tall gentleman with the kind blue eyes,' as an eye- 



72 A WEITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

witness describes him was a festa, excellent official 
though, he was. He carried enthusiasm into the cause 
of popular education, and that is not a very common 
enthusiasm in this country of ours. Yet the cause is 
nothing more nor less than the cause of the national 
intelligence, and its sharpening for the national tasks. 
But education has always been the Cinderella of 
politics ; this nation apparently does not love to be 
taught ! Those who grapple with its stubbornness in 
this field can never expect the ready palm that falls 
to the workers in a dozen other fields. But in the seed 
sown, and the human duty done, they find their reward. 
' Aunt Mary/ Arnold's second daughter, I have 
already spoken of. When my father and mother 
reached England from Tasmania, she had just married 
again, a Leicestershire clergyman, with a house 
and small estate near Loughborough. Her home 
Woodhouse on the borders of Charnwood Forest, 
and the beautiful Beaumanoir Park, was another 
fairy-land to me and to my cousins. Its ponds and 
woods and reed-beds ; its distant summer house between 
two waters, where one might live and read and dream 
through long summer hours, undisturbed ; its pleasant 
rooms, above all the ' tapestry room ' where I generally 
slept, and which I always connected with the description 
of the huntsman on the ' arras,' in ' Tristram and Iseult '; 
the Scott novels I devoured there ; and the ' Court ' 
nights at Beaumanoir, where some feudal customs were 
still kept up, and its beautiful mistress, Mrs. Herrick, the 
young wife of an old man, queened it very graciously 
over neighbours and tenants : all these are among the 
lasting memories of life. Mrs. Herrick became identified 
in my imagination with each successive Scott heroine, 



OTHER CHILDREN OF FOX HOW 78 

Rowena, Isabella, Rose Bradwardine, the White Lady 
of Avenel, and the rest. But it was Aunt Mary herself, 
after all, who held the scene. In that Leicestershire 
world of High Toryism, she raised the Liberal flag 
her father's flag with indomitable courage, but also 
with a humour, which after the tragic hours of her 
youth, flowered out in her like something new and 
unexpectedly delightful. It must have been always 
there, but not till marriage and motherhood, and 
F. D. Maurice's influence, had given her peace of soul 
does it seem to have shown itself as I remember it, 
a golden and pervading quality, which made life 
unfailingly pleasant beside her. Her clear dark eyes, 
with their sweet sincerity, and the touch in them of a 
quiet laughter, of which the causes were not always 
clear to the bystanders, her strong face with its points 
of likeness to her father's, and all her warm and most 
human personality they are still vividly present to 
me, though it is nearly thirty years, since, after an 
hour or two's pain, she died suddenly and unexpectedly, 
of the same malady that killed her father. Consumed 
in her youth by a passionate idealism, she had accepted 
at the hands of life, and by the age of four and twenty, 
a lot by no means ideal : a home in the depths 
of the country, among neighbours often uncon- 
genial, and far from the intellectual pleasures she 
had tasted during her young widowhood in London. 
But out of this lot she made something beautiful, and 
all her own by sheer goodness, conscience, intelligence. 
She had her angles and inconsistencies ; she often 
puzzled those who loved her ; but she had a large brain 
and a large heart ; and for us colonial children, conscious 
of many disadvantages beside our English-born cousins, 



74 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

she had a peculiar tenderness, a peculiar laughing 
sympathy, that led us to feel in ' Aunt Maria,' one of 
our best friends. 

Susan Arnold, the Doctor's fourth daughter, married 
Mr. John Cropper in 1858, and here too, in her house 
beside the Mersey, among fields and trees that still 
maintain a green though be-smutted oasis in the busy 
heart of Liverpool, that girdles them now on all sides, 
and will soon engulf them, there was kindness and 
welcome for the little Tasmanians. She died a few years 
ago, mourned and missed by her own people those 
life-long neighbours who know truly what we are . Of the 
fifth daughter, Frances, 'Aunt Fan/ I may not speak, 
because she is still with us in the old house alive to 
every political and intellectual interest of these dark- 
ened days, beloved by innumerable friends in many 
worlds, and making sunshine still for Arnold's grand- 
children, and their children's children. But it was to 
her that my own stormy childhood was chiefly confided, 
at Fox How ; it was she who taught the Tasmanian 
child to read, and grappled with her tempers ; and 
while she is there, the same megic as of old clings 
about Fox How for those of us who have loved it 
and all it stands for, so lorg. 



CHAPTER V 
THE FRIENDS OF Fox How 

IT remains for me now to say something of those 
friends of Fox How and my father, whose influence, or 
whose living presence, made the atmosphere in which 
the second generation of children who loved Fox How 
grew up. 

Wordsworth died in 1850, the year before I was 
born. He and my grandfather were much attached to 
each other * old Coleridge,' says my grandfather, 
' inoculated a little knot of us with the love of Words- 
worth ' though their politics were widely different, 
and the poet sometimes found it hard to put up with 
the reforming views of the younger man. In a letter 
printed in Stanley's ' Life ' my grandfather mentions 
* a good fight ' with Wordsworth over the Reform Bill 
of '32, on a walk to Greenhead Ghyll. And there is a 
story told of a girl-friend of the family who, once when 
Wordsworth had been paying a visit at Fox How, accom- 
panied him and the Doctor part of the way home to 
Rydal Mount. Something was inadvertently said to 
stir the old man's Toryism, and he broke out in indignant 
denunciation of some views expressed by Arnold. The 
storm lasted all the way to Pelter Bridge, and the girl on 
Arnold's left stole various alarmed glances at him to 



76 A WKITEK'S KECOLLECTIONS 

see how lie was taking it. He said little or nothing, and 
at Pelter Bridge they all parted, Wordsworth going on to 
Rydal Mount, and the other two turning back towards 
Fox How. Arnold paced along, his hands behind his 
back, his eyes on the ground, and his companion 
watched him, till he suddenly threw back his head with 
a laugh of enjoyment. * What beautiful English the 
old man talks ! ' 

The poet complained sometimes as I find from 
an amusing passage in the letter to Mr. Howson quoted 
below, that he could not see enough of his neighbour, 
the Doctor, on a mountain walk, because Arnold was 
always so surrounded with children and pupils, ' like 
little dogs ' running round and after him. But no 
differences, great or small, interfered with his constant 
friendship to Fox How. The garden there was largely 
planned by him during the family absences at Rugby : 
the round chimneys of the house are said to be of his 
design ; and it was for Fox How, which still possesses 
the MS., that the fine sonnet was written, beginning 

Wansfell, this household has a favoured lot 
Laving with liberty on thee to gaze. 

a sonnet which contains, surely, two or three of the 
most magical lines that Wordsworth ever wrote. 

It is of course no purpose of these notes to give any 
fresh account of Wordsworth at Rydal, or any exhaustive 
record of the relations between the Wordsworths and 
Fox How, especially after the recent publication of 
Professor Harper's fresh, interesting, though debatable 
biography. But from the letters in my hands I glean a 
few things worth recording. Here for instance is a pass- 
ing picture of Matthew Arnold and Wordsworth in the 




THE FRIENDS OF FOX HOW 77 

Fox How drawing-room together, in January 1848, which 
I find in a letter from my grandmother to my father : 

Matt has been very much pleased I think by what he has 
seen of dear old Wordsworth since he has been at home, and 
certainly he manages to draw him out very well. The 
old man was here yesterday, and as he sat on the stool in the 
corner beside the fire which you knew so well, he talked of 
various subjects of interest, of Italian poetry, of Coleridge, 
etc. etc. ; and he looked and spoke with more vigour than he 
has often done lately. 

But the poet's health was failing. His daughter 
Dora's death in 1847 had hit him terribly hard, and 
his sister's state the helpless though gentle insanity 
of the unique, the beloved Dorothy weighed heavily 
on his weakening strength. I find a touching picture 
of him in the unpublished letter referred to on a 
previous page, written in this very year 1848 to Dean 
Howson, as a young man, by his former pupil the late 
Duke of Argyll, the distinguished author of ' The Reign 
of Law' which Dean Howson' s son and the Duke's 
grandson allow me to print. The Rev. J. S. Howson, 
afterwards Dean of Chester, married a sister of the John 
Cropper who married Susan Arnold, and was thus a few 
years later brought into connection with the Arnolds 
and Fox How. The Duke and Duchess had set out to 
visit both the Lakes and the Lakes ' celebrities,' advised 
evidently as to their tour by the Duke's old tutor, who 
was already familiar with the valleys and some of their 
inmates. Their visit to Fox How is only briefly men- 
tioned, but of Wordsworth and Rydal Mount the Duke 
gives a long account. The picture, first, of drooping 
health and spirits, and then of the flaming out of the 



78 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTION 

old poetic fire, will I think interest any true Words- 
worthian. 

On Saturday [writes the Duke] we reached Ambleside 
and soon after drove to Rydal Mount. We found the Poet 
seated at his fireside, and a little languid in manner. He 
became less so as he talked. . . . He talked incessantly, 
but not generally interestingly. ... I looked at him often 
and asked myself if that was the man who had stamped the 
impress of his own mind so decidedly on a great part of the 
literature of his age ! He took us to see a waterfall near his 
house, and talked and chattered, but said nothing remarkable 
or even thoughtful. . . . Yet I could see that all this was only 
that we were on the surface, and did not indicate any decay 
of mental powers. Still we went away with no other impres- 
sion than the vaguest of having seen the man, whose writings 
we knew so well and with no feeling that we had seen anything 
of the mind which spoke through them. 

On the following day, Sunday, the Duke with a 
friend walked over to Rydal, but found no one at the 
Mount, but an invalid lady, very old, and apparently 
paralysed, ' drawn in a bath chair by a servant.' They 
did not realise that the poor sufferer, with her wandering 
speech and looks, was Dorothy Wordsworth, whose 
share in her great brother's fame will never be forgotten 
while literature lasts. 

In the evening, however 

after visiting Mrs. Arnold we drove together to bid 
Wordsworth goodbye, as we were to go next morning. We 
found the old man as before, seated by the fire-side and languid 
and sleepy in manner. Again he awakened as conversation 
went on, and, a stranger coming in, we rose to go away. He 
seemed unwilling that we should go so soon, and said he would 
walk out with us. We went to the mound in front and the 
Duchess then asked if he would repeat some of his own lines 
to us. He said he hardly thought he could do that, but that 



THE FRIENDS OF FOX HOW 79 

he would have been glad to read some to us. We stood looking 
at the view for some time, when Mrs. Wordsworth came out 
and asked us back to the house to take some tea. This was 
just what we wanted. We sat for about half an hour at tea, 
during which I tried to direct the conversation to interesting 
subjects Coleridge, Southey, etc. He gave a very different 
impression from the preceding evening. His memory seemed 
clear and unclouded his remarks forcible and decided with 
some tendency to run off to irrelevant anecdote. 

When tea was over, we renewed our request that he should 
read to us. He said ' Oh dear, that is terrible ! ' but con- 
sented, asking what we chose. He jumped at ' Tintern 
Abbey ' in preference to any part of the Excursion. 

He told us he had written ' Tintern Abbey ' in 1798, taking 
four days to compose it ; the last twenty lines or so being 
composed as he walked down the hill from Clifton to Bristol. 
It was curious to feel that we were to hear a Poet read his own 
verses composed fifty years before. 

He read the introductory lines descriptive of the scenery 
in a low clear voice. But when he came to the thoughtful 
and reflective lines, his tones deepened and he poured them 
forth with a fervour and almost passion of delivery, which 
was very striking and beautiful. I observed that Mrs. Words- 
worth was strongly affected during the reading. The strong 
emphasis that he put on the words addressed to the person 
to whom the poem is written struck me as almost unnatural 
at the time. ' My BEAR, DEAR friend ! ' and on the words, 
' In thy wild eyes.' It was not till after the reading was over 
that we found out that the poor paralytic invalid we 
had seen in the morning was the sister to whom ' Tintern 
Abbey ' was addressed, and her condition, now, accounted 
for the fervour with which the old Poet read lines which 
reminded him of their better days. But it was melancholy 
to think that the vacant gazo we had seen in the morning was 
from the ' wild eyes ' of 1798. 

. . . We could not have had a better opportunity of 
bringing out in his reading the source of the inspiration of his 
poetry, which it was impossible not to feel was the poetry of 



the heart. Mrs. Wordsworth told me it was the first time he 
had read since his daughter's death, and that she was thankful 
to us for having made him do it, as he was apt to fall into a 
listless, languid state. We asked him to come to Inverary. 
He said he had not courage ; as he had last g->ne through 
that country with his daughter, and he feared it would be too 
much for him. 

Less than two years after this visit, on April 23, 
1850, the death day of Shakespeare and Cervantes, 
Arnold's youngest daughter, now Miss Arnold of Fox 
How, was walking with her sister Susan on the side 
of Loughrigg which overlooks Rydal Mount. They 
knew that the last hour of a great poet was near, to 
my aunts, not only a great poet, but the familiar friend 
of their dead father and all their kindred. They moved 
through the April day, along the mountain- side, under 
the shadow of death ; and, suddenly, as they looked 
at the old house opposite, unseen hands drew down 
the blinds ; and by the darkened windows, they knew 
that the life of Wordsworth had gone out. 

Henceforward, in the family letters to my father, it 
is Mrs. Wordsworth who comes into the foreground. 
The old age prophesied for her by her poet bridegroom 
in the early Grasmere days was about her for the nine 
years of her widowhood, ' lovely as a Lapland night ' ; 
or rather like one of her own Rydal evenings when 
the sky is clear over the perfect little lake, and the 
reflections of island and wood and fell, go down and 
down, unearthly far into the quiet depths, and Wansfell 
still * parleys with the setting sun.' My grandmother 
writes of her of 4 her sweet grace and dignity/ and 
the little friendly acts she is always doing for this 
person and that, gentle or simple, in the valley 



THE FRIENDS OF FOX HOW 81 

with a tender enthusiasm. She is 'dear Mrs. Words- 
worth' always, for them all. And it is my joy that 
in the year '56 or '57 my grandmother took me to 
Rydal Mount, and that I can vividly recollect sitting 
on a foot-stool at Mrs. Wordsworth's feet. I see 
still the little room, with its plain furniture, the chair 
beside the fire, and the old lady in it. I can still re- 
call the childish feeling that this was no common 
visit, and the house no common house that a presence 
still haunted it. Instinctively the childish mind said 
to itself ' Remember ! ' and I have always remembered. 

A few years later, I was again, as a child of eight, in 
Rydal Mount. Mrs. Wordsworth was dead, and there 
was a sale in the house. From far and near the neigh- 
bours came, very curious, very full of real regret, and 
a little awe-stricken. They streamed through the rooms 
where the furniture was arranged in lots. I wandered 
about by myself, and presently came upon something 
which absorbed me so that I forgot everything else 
a store of Easter eggs, with wonderful drawings and 
devices, made by ' James,' the Rydal Mount factotum, 
in the poet's day. I recollect sitting down with them in 
a nearly empty room, dreaming over them in a kind of 
ecstasy, because of their pretty, strange colours and 
pictures. 

Fifty-two years passed, and I found myself, in 
September 1911, the tenant of a renovated and rebuilt 
Rydal Mount, for a few autumn weeks. The house was 
occupied then, and is still occupied by Wordsworth's 
great-granddaughter and her husband Mr. and Mrs. 
Fisher Wordsworth. My eldest daughter was with me, 
and a strange thing happened to us. I arrived at the 
Mount before my husband and daughter. She joined 



82 A WKITEK'S RECOLLECTIONS 

me there on September 13. I remember how eagerly 
I showed her the many Wordsworthiana in the house, 
collected by the piety of its mistress the Haydon 
portrait on the stairs, and the books, in the small low- 
ceiled room to the right of the hall, which is still just 
as it was in Wordsworth's day ; the garden too, and the 
poet's walk. All my own early recollections were alive ; 
we chattered long and late. And now let the account 
of what happened afterwards be given in my daughter's 
words as she wrote it down for me the following morning. 

Rydal Mount, September 14, 1911. 

Last night, my first at Eydal Mount, I slept in the corner 
room, over the small sitting-room. I had drawn up the blind 
about half-way up the window before going to bed, and had 
drawn the curtain aside, over the back of a wooden armchair 
that stood against the window. The window, a casement, was 
wide open. I slept soundly, but woke quite suddenly, at 
what hour I do not know, and found myself sitting bolt upright 
in bed looking towards the window. Very bright moonlight 
was shining into the room and I could just see the corner of 
Loughrigg out in the distance. My first impression was of 
bright moonlight, but then I became strongly conscious of the 
moonlight striking on something, and I saw perfectly clearly 
the figure of an old man sitting in the arm-chair by the window. 
I said to myself ' That's Wordsworth ! ' He was sitting 
with either hand resting on the arms of the chair, leaning back, 
his head rather bent and he seemed to be looking down, straight 
in front of him with a rapt expression. He was not looking 
at me, nor out of the window. The moonlight lit up the top 
of his head and the silvery hair and I noticed that the hair 
was very thin. The whole impression was of something solemn 
and beautiful, and I was not in the very least frightened. As 
I looked I cannot say, when I looked again, for I have no 
recollection of ceasing to look, or looking away the figure 
disappeared, and I became aware of the empty chair. I lay 



THE FEIENDS OF FOX HOW 83 

back again, and thought for a moment in a pleased and con- 
tented way * That was Wordsworth.' And almost imme- 
diately I must have fallen asleep again. I had not, to my 
knowledge, been dreaming about Wordsworth before I awoke ; 
but I had been reading Button's essay on ' Wordsworth's Two 
Styles ' out of Knight's ' Wordsworthiana,' before I fell asleep. 
I should add that I had a distinct impression of the high 
collar and stock, the same as in the picture on the stairs in 
this house. 

Neither the seer of this striking vision unique in 
her experience nor I, to whom she told it within eight 
hours, make any claim for it to a supernatural origin. 
It seemed to us an interesting example of the influence 
of mind and association on the visualising power of the 
brain. A member of the Psychical Society, to whom 
I sent the contemporary record, classified it as * a visual 
hallucination,' and I don't know that there is anything 
more to be said about it. But the pathetic coincidence 
remains still to be noted we did not know it till after- 
wards that the seer of the vision was sleeping in Dorothy 
Wordsworth's room, where Dorothy spent so many sad 
years of death-in-life ; and that in that very corner by 
the window, Wordsworth, must have sat, day after day, 
when he came to visit what remained to him of that 
creature of fire and dew, that child of genius, who had 
been the inspiration and support of his poetic youth. 

In these rapid sketches of the surroundings and 
personal influences amid which my own childhood 
was passed, I have already said something of my father's 
intimate friend, Arthur Hugh Clough. Clough was 
of course a Rugbeian, and one of Arnold's ablest and 
most devoted pupils. He was about three years older 
than my father, and was already a Fellow of Oriel 



84 A WEITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

when Thomas Arnold, the younger, was reading for his 
First. But the difference of age made no difference 
to the friendship which grew up between them in 
Oxford, a friendship only less enduring and close than 
that between Clough and Matthew Arnold, which 
has been ' eternised,' to use a word of Fulke Greville's, 
by the noble dirge of * Thyrsis/ Not many years before 
his own death, in 1895 my father wrote of the friend of 
his youth : 

I loved him, oh so well : and also respected him more 
profoundly than any man, anywhere near my own age, whom 
I ever met. His pure soul was without stain : he seemed 
incapable of being inflamed by wrath, or tempted to vice, or 
enslaved by any unworthy passion of any sort. As to ' Philip ' 
something that he saw in me helped to suggest the character 
that was all. There is much in Philip that is Clough himself, 
and there is a dialectic force in him that certainly was never 
in me. A great yearning for possessing one's soul in freedom 
for trampling on ceremony and palaver, for trying experi- 
ments in equality, being common to me and Philip, sent me 
out to New Zealand ; and in the two years before I sailed 
(Dec. 1847) Clough and I were a great deal together. 

It was partly also the visit paid by my father and 
his friend John Campbell Shairp, afterwards Principal 
Shairp of St. Andrew's, to dough's reading party at 
Drumnadrochit in 1845, and their report of incidents 
which had happened to them on their way along 
the shores of Loch Ericht, which suggested the 
scheme of the ' Bothie/ One of the half-dozen 
short poems of Clough which have entered per- 
manently into literature Qui laborat orat was found 
by my father one morning on the table of his bachelor 
rooms in Mount St., after Clough had spent the night 
on a shake-up in his sitting-room, and on his early 



THE FRIENDS OF FOX HOW 85 

departure had left the poem behind him as payment 
for his night's lodging. In one of dough's letters 
to New Zealand I find ' Say not the struggle 
nought availeth ' another of the half-dozen written 
out by him ; and the original copy * tibi primo 
confisum/ of the pretty though unequal verses, 
' A London Idyll.' The little volume of miscellaneous 
poems, called ' Ambarvalia/ and the ' Bothie of Tober- 
na-Vuolich ' were sent out to New Zealand by Clough, 
at the same moment that Matt was sending his brother 
the ' Poems by A.' 

Clough writes from Liverpool in February 1849, 
having just received Matt's volume 

At last our own Matt's book ! Read mine first, my child, 
if our volumes go forth together. Otherwise you won't read 
mine Ambarvulia at any rate, at all. Froude also has 
published a new book of religious biography, auto or otherwise, 
(The Nemesis of Faith) and therewithal resigns his Fellowship. 
But the Rector (of Exeter) talks of not accepting the resigna- 
tion, but having an expulsion fire and fagot fashion. Quo 
usque? 

But when the books arrive, my father writes to 
his sister with affectionate welcome indeed of the 
' Poems by A.' but with enthusiasm of the ' Bothie. 1 

It greatly surpasses my expectations ! It is on the 
whole a noble poem, well held together, clear, full of 
purpose, and full of promise. With joy I see the old ft How 
bestiring himself, ' awakening like a strong man out of sleep 
and shaking his invincible locks ' ; and if he remains true 
and works, I think there is nothing too high or too great to 
be expected from him. 

' True,' and a worker, Clough remained to the last 
hours of his short life. But in spite of a happy marriage, 



86 A WRITER'S BECOLLECTIONS 

the burden and perplexity of philosophic thought, 
together with the strain of failing health, checked, before 
long, the strong poetic impulse shown in the ' Bothie,' 
its buoyant delight in natural beauty, and in the 
simplicities of human feeling and passion. The ' music ' 
of his * rustic ' flute ' 

Kept not for long its happy, country tone ; 

Lost it too soon, and learnt a stormy note 
Of men contention-tost, of men who groan. 

The poet of the ' Bothie ' becomes the poet of 
* Dipsychus,' ' Easter Day,' and the * Amours de 
Voyage ' ; and the young republican who writes in 
triumph all humorous joy and animation to my 
father, from the Paris of '48, which has just seen the 
overthrow of Louis Philippe, says, a year later 
February 24, 1849 

To-day, my dear brother republican, is the glorious 
anniversary of '48, whereof what shall I now say ? Put not 
your trust in republics, nor in any constitution of man ! God 
be praised for the downfall of Louis Philippe. This with a 
faint feeble echo of that loud last year's scream of ' A bas 
Guizot ! ' seems to be the sum total. Or are we to salute the 
rising sun, with ' Vive 1'Empereur ! ' and the green liveries ? 
President for life I think they'll make him, and then begin to 
tire of him. Meanwhile the Great Powers are to restore the 
Pope, and crush the renascent Eoman Republic, of which 
Joseph Mazzini has just been declared a citizen ! 

A few months later, the writer at Rome ' was in 
at the death ' of this same Roman Republic, listening 
to the French bombardment in bitterness of soul. 

I saw the French enter [he writes to my father]. Unto 
this has come our grand Lib. Eq. and Frat. revolution ! And 
then I went to Naples and home. I am full of admiration 



THE FRIENDS OP FOX HOW 87 

for Mazzini. . . . But on the whole ' Farewell Politics ! ' 
utterly ! What can I do ? Study is much more to the 
purpose. 

So in disillusion and disappointment, * Citizen 
Clough ' leaving Oxford and politics behind him, 
settled down to educational work in London, married, 
and became the happy father of children, wrote much 
that was remarkable, and will be long read whether 
it be poetry or no by those who find perennial 
attraction in the lesser-known ways of literature and 
thought, and at last closed his short life at Florence 
in 1862, at the age of forty-one, leaving an indelible 
memory in the hearts of those who had talked and 
lived with him. 

To a boon southern country he is fled, 
And now in happier air, 

Wandering with the Great Mother's train divine 
(And purer or more subtle soul than thee, 
I trow the mighty Mother doth not see) 

Within a folding of the Apennine, 

Thou hearest the immortal chants of old ! 

But I remember him, in an English setting, and on 
the slopes of English hills. In the year 1858, as a child 
of seven, I was an inmate of a little school kept at 
,Ambleside, by Miss Anne Clough, the poet's sister, 
afterwards the well-known head of Newnham College, 
Cambridge, and wisest leader in the cause of women. 
It was a small day-school for Ambleside children of all 
ranks, and I was one of two boarders, spending my 
Sundays often at Fox How. I can recall one or two 
golden days, at long intervals, when my father came for 
me, with ' Mr. Clough,' and the two old friends, who, 



88 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

after nine years' separation, had recently met again, 
walked up the Sweden Bridge lane into the heart 
of Scandale Fell, while I, paying no more attention to 
them, than they after a first ten minutes did to me, 
went wandering, and skipping, and dreaming by myself. 
In those days every rock along the mountain lane, 
every boggy patch, every stretch of silken, flower-sown 
grass, every bend of the wild stream, and all its sounds, 
whether it chattered gently over stony shallows, or 
leapt full-throated into deep pools, swimming with 
foam were to me the never-ending joys of a * land of 
pure delight.' Should I find a ripe wild strawberry in 
a patch under a particular rock I knew by heart ? 
or the first Grass of Parnassus, or the bog auricula, or 
streaming cotton-plant, amid a stretch of wet moss 
ahead? I might quite safely explore these enchanted 
spots under male eyes, since they took no account, merci- 
fully, of a child's boots and stockings male tongues 
besides being safely busy with books and politics. Was 
that a dipper, rising and falling along the stream, or 
positively a fat brown trout in hiding under that 
shady bank ? or that a buzzard, hovering overhead. 
Such hopes and doubts kept a child's heart and eyes 
as quick and busy as the ' beck ' itself. It was a point 
of honour with me to get to Sweden Bridge a rough 
crossing for the shepherds and sheep, near the head of 
the valley before my companions; and I would sit 
dangling my feet over the unprotected edge of its 
grass-grown arch, blissfully conscious on a summer day 
of the warm stretches of golden fell folding in the 
stream, the sheep, the hovering hawks, the stony path 
that wound up and up to regions beyond the ken of 
thought ; and of myself, queening it there on the 



THE FKIENDS OP FOX HOW 89 

weather-worn key-stone of the bridge, dissolved in the 
mere physical joy of each contented sense : the sun on 
my cotton dress, the scents from grass and moss, the 
marvellous rush of cloud-shadow along the hills, the 
brilliant browns and blues in the water, the little white 
stones on its tiny beaches, or the purples of the bigger 
rocks, whether in the stream or on the mountain- side. 
How did they come there those big rocks ? I puzzled 
my head about them a good deal, especially as my 
father, in the walks we had to ourselves, would some- 
times try and teach me a little geology. 

I have used the words ' physical joy,' because, 
although such passionate pleasure in natural things 
as has been my constant Helper (in the sense of the 
Greek eVt/eoi//jo<?) through life, has connected itself 
no doubt, in process of time, with various intimate 
beliefs, philosophic or religious, as to the Beauty which 
is Truth, and therewith the only conceivable key to 
man's experience, yet I could not myself endorse the 
famous contrast in Wordsworth's 'Tintern Abbey,' 
between the * haunting passion ' of youth's delight in 
Nature, and the more complex feeling of later years, 
when Nature takes an aspect coloured by our own 
moods and memories, when our sorrows and reflections 
enter so much into what we feel about the ' bright and 
intricate device' of earth and her seasons, that 'in 
our life alone doth Nature live.' No one can answer for 
the changing moods that the future, long or short, may 
bring with it. But so far, I am inclined to think of 
this quick, intense pleasure in natural things, which I 
notice in myself and others, as something involuntary 
and inbred ; independent often selfishly independent 
of the real human experience. I have been sometimes 



90 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

ashamed pricked even with self -contempt to remem- 
ber how in the course of some tragic or sorrowful hours, 
concerning myself, or others of great account to me, 
I could not help observing some change in the clouds, 
some effect of colour in the garden, some picture on the 
wall, which pleased me even for the moment intensely. 
The impression would be gone, perhaps, as soon as felt, 
rebuked by something like a flash of remorse. But it 
was not in my power to prevent its recurrence. And 
the delight in natural things colours, forms, scents 
when there was nothing to restrain or hamper it, has 
often been a kind of intoxication, in which thought 
and consciousness seemed suspended ' as though of 
hemlock one had drunk. 5 Wordsworth has of course 
expressed it constantly, though increasingly, as life 
went on, in combination with his pantheistic philo- 
sophy. But it is my belief that it survived in him in 
its primitive form, almost to the end. 

The best and noblest people I have known have 
been, on the whole except in first youth without 
this correspondence between some constant pleasure- 
sense in the mind, and natural beauty. It cannot 
therefore be anything to be proud of. But it is cer- 
tainly something to be glad of 'amid the chances 
and changes of this mortal life' ; it is one of the joys 
' in widest commonalty spread ' and that may last 
longest. It is therefore surely to be encouraged both 
in oneself, and in children ; and that, although I have 
often felt that there is something inhuman, or infra- 
human in it, as though the earth-gods in us all Pan, 
or Demeter laid ghostly hands again, for a space, upon 
the soul and sense that nobler or sadder faiths have 
ravished from them. 



THE FRIENDS OF FOX HOW 91 

In these Westmorland walks, however, my father 
had sometimes another companion ra frequent visitor 
at Fox How, where he was almost another son to my 
grandmother, and an elder brother to her children. 
How shall one ever make the later generation understand 
the charm of Arthur Stanley ? There are many very 
many still living, in whom the sense of it leaps up, 
at the very mention of his name. But for those who 
never saw him, who are still in their twenties and thirties, 
what shall I say ? That he was the son of a Bishop of 
Norwich, and a member of the old Cheshire family of 
the Stanleys of Alderley, that he was a Rugby boy and 
a devoted pupil of Arnold, whose * Life ' he wrote, so 
that it stands out among the biographies of the century, 
not only for its literary merit, but for its wide and varied 
influence on feeling and opinion ; that he was an Oxford 
tutor and Professor all through the great struggle of 
Liberal thought against the reactionary influences let 
loose by Newman and the Tractarian movement ; that, 
as Regius Professor at Oxford, and Canon of Canterbury, 
if he added little to learning, or research, he at least kept 
alive by his power of turning all he knew into image 
and colour that great ' art ' of history which the Dryas- 
dusts so willingly let die ; that as Dean of Westminster, 
he was still the life and soul of all the Liberalism in the 
church, still the same generous friend and champion of 
all the spiritually oppressed that he had ever been ? 
None of the old ' causes ' beloved of his youth could ever 
have said of him as of so many others : 

Just for a handful of silver he left us, 
Just for a ribbon to stick in his coat 

He was no doubt the friend of kings and princes, and 



92 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

keenly conscious, always, of tilings long-descended, with 
picturesque or heroic associations. But it was he who 
invited Colenso to preach in the Abbey, after his excom- 
munication by the fanatical and now forgotten Bishop 
of Cape Town ; it was he who brought about that 
famous Communion of the Revisers in the Abbey, 
whe e the Unitarian received the Sacrament of Christ's 
death beside the Wesleyan and the Anglican, and who 
bore with unflinch ng courage the idle tumult which 
followed ; it was he too who first took special pains 
to open the histor'cal Abbey to working-men, and to 
give them an insight into the meaning of its treasures. 
He was not a social reformer in the modern sense ; 
that was not his business. But his unfailing power of 
seeing and pouncing upon the interesting the dramatic 
in any human lot, soon brought him into relation 
with men of callings and types the most different from 
his own ; and for the rest he fulfilled to perfection that 
hard duty * the duty to our equals,' on which Mr. 
Jowett once preached a caustic and suggestive sermon. 
But for him John Richard Green would have abandoned 
history, and student after student, heretic after heretic, 
found in him the man who eagerly understood them, 
and chivalrously fought for them. 

And then, what a joy he was to the eye ! His small 
spa e figure, miraculously light, his delicate face of 
tinted ivory -only that ivory is not sensitive and subtle, 
and incredibly expressive, as were the features of the 
little Dean ; ths eager thin-lipped mouth, varying 
with every shade o feeling in the innocent great soul 
Ix-hind it ; the clear eyes of china-blue ; the glistening 
white ha r, still with the wave and spring of youth in 
it ; the dender legs, and Dean's dress, which becomes 



THE FRIENDS OF FOX HOW 98 

all but the portly, with, on festal occasions, the red 
ribbon of the Bath ciossing the mercurial frame: 
there are still a few pictures and photographs by which 
these characteristics are dimly recalled to those at least 
who knew the living man. To my father, who called 
him ' Arthur,' and to all the Fox How circle he was 
the most faithful of friends, though no doubt my father's 
conversion to Catholicism to some extent, in later 
years, separated him from Stanley. In the letter I 
have printed on a former page, written en the night 
before my father left Engknd for New Zealand in 1847, 
and cherished by its recipient all Lis life, there is a 
yearning, personal note, which was, perhaps, some- 
times lacking in the much -surrounded, n.uch-ccurted 
Dean of later life. It was not that Arthur Stanley, 
any more than Matthew Arnold, ever became a world- 
ling in the ordinary sense. But ' the world ' asks too 
much of such men as Stanley. It heaps all its honours 
and all its tasks upon them, and without some slight 
stiffening of its substance the exquisite instrument 
cannot meet the strain. 

Mr. Hughes always strongly denied that the * George 
Arthur ' of ' Tom Brown's Schooldays ' had anything 
whatever to do with Arthur Stanley. But I should 
like to believe that at least some anecdote of Stanley's 
schooldays had entered into the well-known scene 
where Arthur, in class, breaks down in construing the 
last address of Helen to the dead Hector. Stanley's 
memory, indeed, was alive with the great things or the 
picturesque detail of literature and history, no less 
than with the humorous or striking things of con- 
temporary life. I remember aii amusing instance of 
it at my own wedding breakfast. Stanley married us, 



94 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

and a few days before, he had buried Frederick Denison 
Maurice. His historical sense was pleased by the 
juxtaposition of the two names Maurice and Arnold, 
suggested by the funeral of Maurice and the marriage 
of Arnold's granddaughter. The consequence was that 
his speech at the wedding breakfast was quite as much 
concerned with ' graves and worms and epitaphs ' as 
with things hymeneal. But from 'the little Dean* 
all things were welcome. 

My personal memory of him goes back to much 
earlier days. As a child at Fox How, he roused in me 
a mingled fascination and terror. To listen to him 
quoting Shakspeare or Scott or Macaulay was fascina- 
tion ; to find his eye fixed on one, and his slender finger 
darting towards one, as he asked a sudden historical 
question 'Where did Edward the First die ? '- 
4 Where was the Black Prince buried?' was terror 
lest, at seven years old, one should not be able to play 
up. I remember a particular visit of his to Fox How, 
when the dates and places of these royal deaths and 
burials kept us myself in particular in a perpetual 
ferment. It must, I think, have been when he was 
still at Canterbury, investigating, almost with the zest 
and passion of the explorer of Troy or Mycenae, what 
bones lie hid, and where, under the Cathedral floor, 
what sands ' fallen from the ruined sides of Kings ' 
that this passion of deaths and dates was upon him. 
I can see myself as a child of seven or eight, standing 
outside the drawing-room door at Fox How, bracing 
myself in a mixture of delight and fear, as to what 
' Dr. Stanley ' might ask me when the door was opened ; 
then the opening, and the sudden sharp turn of the 



THE FRIENDS OF FOX HOW 95 

slight figure, writing letters at the middle table, at 
the sight of * little Mary ' and the expected thunderbolt 

' Where did Henry the Fourth die ? ' 

Confusion and blank ignorance ! 

But memory leaps forward to a day four or five 
years later, when my father and I invaded the 
dark high room in the old Deanery, and the Dean 
standing at his reading-desk. He looks round sees 
' Tom/ and the child with him. His charming face 
breaks into a broad smile ; he remembers instantly, 
though it is some years since he and ' little Mary ' met. 
He holds out both his hands to me 

* Come and see the place where Henry the Fourth 
died!' 

And ofE we ran together to the Jerusalem Chamber. 



CHAPTER VI 
YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 

How little those who are schoolgirls of to-day can 
realise what it was to be a schoolgirl in the fifties or the 
early sixties of the last century ! A modern girls' 
school, equipped as scores are now equipped through- 
out the country, was of course not to be found in 1858, 
when I first became a school boarder, or in 1867 when I 
ceased to be one. The games, the gymnastic, the solid 
grounding in drawing and music, together with the 
enormously improved teaching in elementary science, 
or literature and language, which are at the service of 
the schoolgirl of to-day, had not begun to be when I 
was at school. As far as intellectual training was con- 
cerned, my nine years from seven to sixteen were 
practically wasted. I learnt nothing thoroughly or 
accurately, and the German, French, and Latin, which 
I soon discovered after my marriage to be essential 
to the kind of literary work I wanted to do, had all to 
be re-learnt before they could be of any real use to me ; 
nor was it ever possible for me who married at twenty 
to get that firm hold on the structure and literary 
history of any language, ancient or modern, which my 

brother William, only fifteen months my junior, got 

M 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 97 

from his six years at Rugby, and his training there in 
Latin and Greek. What I learnt during those years 
was learnt from personalities ; from contact with a 
nature so simple, sincere and strong as that of Miss 
Clough ; from the kindly old German governess, whose 
affection for me helped me through some rather hard 
and lonely school years spent at a school in Shropshire ; 
and from a gentle and high-minded woman, an ardent 
Evangelical, with whom a little later, at the age of 
fourteen or fifteen, I fell headlong in love, as was the 
manner of schoolgirls then, and is I understand 
frequently the case with schoolgirls now, in spite of the 
greatly increased variety of subjects on which they 
may spend their minds. 

English girls' schools to-day providing the higher 
education are, so far as my knowledge goes, worthily 
representative of that astonishing rise in the intellect al 
standards of women, which has taken place in the last 
half century. They are almost entirely taught by 
women, and women with whom, in many cases, 
education the shaping of the immature human creature 
to noble ends is the sincerest of passions ; who find, 
indeed, in the task that same creative joy which belongs 
to liter ture or art, or philanthropic experiment. The 
school-mistress to whom money is the sole or even the 
chief motive of her work, is, in my experience, rare 
to-day, though we have all in our time heard tales of 
modern ' academies ' of the Miss Pinkerton type, 
brought up to date fashionable, exclusive, and 
luxurious where, as in some boys' preparatory schools 
(before the war !) the more the parents paid, the better 
they were pleased. But I have not come across them. 
The leading boarding-schools in England and America, 



98 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

at present, no less than the excellent day-schools for 
girls of the middle class, with which this country has 
been covered since 1870, are genuine products of that 
Women's Movement, as we vaguely call it, in the early 
educational phases of which I myself was much engaged ; 
whereof the results are now widely apparent, though 
as yet only half-grown. If one tracks it back to some- 
where near its origins, its superficial origins at any 
rate, one is brought up, I think, as in the case of so 
much else, against one leading cause railways ! With 
railways and a cheap press, in the second third of the 
nineteenth century, there came in, as we all know, the 
break-up of a thousand mental stagnations, answering 
to the old physical disabilities and inconveniences. 
And the break-up has nowhere had more startling results 
than in the world of women, and the training of women 
for life. We have only to ask ourselves what the women 
of Benjamin Constant, or of Beyle, or Balzac, would 
have made of the keen schoolgirl and college girl of the 
present day, to feel how vast is the change through 
which some of us have lived. Exceptional wom?n, of 
course, have led much the same kind of lives in all 
generations. Mrs. Sidney Webb has gone through a 
very different sort of self-education from that of Harriet 
Martineau ; but she has not thought more widely, 
and she will hardly influence her world so much as that 
staunch fighter of the past. It is the rank and file 
the average woman for whom the world has opened 
up so astonishingly. The revelation of her wide-spread 
and various capacity that the present war has brought 
about, is only the suddenly conspicuous result of the 
liberating forces set in action by the scientific and 
mechanical development of the nineteenth century. 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 99 

It rests still with that world ' after the war/ to which 
we are all looking forward with mingled hope and fear, 
to determine the new forms, sociological and political, 
through which this capacity, this heightened faculty, 
must some day organically express itself. 

In the years when I was at school, however, 1858 
to 1867 these good days were only beginning to 
dawn. Poor teaching, poor school-books, and, in 
many cases, indifferent food and much ignorance as 
to the physical care of girls these things were common 
in my school-time. I loved nearly all my teachers ; 
but it was not till I went home to live at Oxford, in 
1867, that I awoke intellectually to a hundred interests 
and influences that begin much earlier nowadays to 
affect any clever child. I had few tools and little 
grounding ; and I was much more childish than I 
need have been. A few vivid impressions stand out 
from these years : the great and to me mysterious 
figure of Newman haunting the streets of Edgbaston, 
where, in 1861, my father became head classical master 
of the Oratory School ; the news of the murder of 
Lincoln, coming suddenly into a quiet garden in a 
suburb of Birmingham, and an ineffaceable memory 
of the pale faces and horror-stricken looks of those 
discussing it ; the haunting beauty of certain passages 
of Ruskin which I copied out and carried about with 
me, without in the least caring to read as a whole the 
books from which they came ; my first visit to the 
House of Commons in 1863 ; the recurrent visits to 
Fox How, and the winter and summer beauty of the 
fells ; together with an endless story-telling phase in 
which I told stories to my school-fellows, on condition 
they told stories to me ; coupled with many attempts 



100 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

on my part at poetry and fiction, which make me laugh 
and blush when I compare them to-day with similar 
efforts of my own grand-children. But on the whole 
they were starved and rather unhappy years ; through 
no one's fault. My parents were very poor and 
perpetually in movement. Everybody did the best 
they could. 

With Oxford, however, and my seventeenth year, 
came a radical change. 

It was in July 1865, while I was still a schoolgirl, 
that in the very middle of the Long Vacation, I first 
saw Oxford. My father, after some five years as Dr. 
Newman's colleague at the Oratory School, had then 
become the subject of a strong temporary reaction 
against Catholicism. He left the Roman church in 
'65, to return to it again, for good, eleven years 
later. During the interval he took pupils at Oxford, 
produced a very successful * Manual of English 
Literature,' edited the works of Wyclifie for the Claren- 
don Press, made himself an Anglo-Saxon scholar, and 
became one of the most learned editors of the great 
Rolls Series. To look at the endless piles of his note- 
books is to realise how hard, how incessantly he worked. 
Historical scholarship was his destined field ; he found 
his happiness in it through all the troubles of life. And 
the return to Oxford, to its memories, its libraries, its 
stately, imperishable beauty, was delightful to him. 
So also, I think, for some years, was the sense of 
intellectual freedom. Then began a kind of nostalgia, 
which grew and grew till it took him back to the Catholic 
haven in 1876, never to wander more. 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 101 

But when he first showed me Oxford he was in the 
ardour of what seemed a permanent severance from an 
admitted mistake. I see a deserted Oxford street, and 
a hansom coming up it myself and my father inside 
it. I was returning from school, for the holidays. 
When I had last seen my people, they were living near 
Birmingham. I now found them at Oxford, and I 
remember the thrill of excitement with which I looked 
from side to side as we neared the colleges. For I 
knew well, even at fourteen, that this was ' no mean 
city/ As we drove up Beaumont Street we saw what 
was then ' new Balliol ' in front of us, and a jutting 
window. * There lives the arch-heretic ! ' said my 
father. It was a window in Mr. Jowett's rooms. He was 
not yet Master of the famous College, but his name was 
a rallying-cry, and his personal influence almost at its 
zenith. At the same time, he was then rigorously 
excluded from the University pulpit ; it was not till 
a year later that even his close friend Dean Stanley 
ventured to ask him to preach in Westminster Abbey ; 
and his salary as Greek Professor, due to him from the 
revenues of Christ Church, and withheld from him on 
theological grounds for years, had only just been wrung 
at last from the reluctant hands of a governing 
body which contained C.inon Lie don a] d Dr. Pusey. 

To my father, on his settlement in Oxford, Jowett 
had been a kind and helpful friend ; he had a very 
quick sympathy with my mother ; and as I grew up 
he became my friend too, so that as I look back upon my 
Oxford years both before and after my marriage, the dear 
Master he became Master in 1870 plays a very marked 
part in the Oxford scene as I shall ever remember it. 



102 A Y/KITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

It was not however till two years later that I left 
school, and slipped into the Oxford life as a fish into 
water. I was sixteen, beginning to be conscious of' 
all sorts of rising needs and ambitions, keenly alive to 
the spell of Oxford, and to the good fortune which had 
brought me to live in her streets. There was in me, I 
think, a real hunger to learn, and a very quick sense 
of romance in things or people. But after sixteen, 
except in music, I had no definite teaching, and every- 
thing I learnt came to me from persons and books 
sporadically, without any general guidance or plan. 
It was all a great voyage of discovery, organised mainly 
by myself, on the advice of a few men and women very 
much older, who took an interest in me, and were 
endlessly kind to the shy and shapeless creature I must 
have been. 

It was in '68 or '69 I think I was seventeen that 
I remember my first sight of a college garden lying cool 
and shaded between grey college walls, and on the 
grass a figure that held me fascinated a lady in a 
green brocade dress, with a belt and chatelaine of 
Russian silver, who was playing croquet, then a 
novelty in Oxford, and seemed to me, as I watched 
her, a perfect model of grace and vivacity. A man 
nearly thirty years older than herself whom I knew to 
be her husband was standing near her, and a handful 
of undergraduates made an amused and admiring 
court round the lady. The elderly man he was 
then fifty-three was Mark Pattison, Rector of Lincoln 
College, and the croquet-player had been his wife about 
seven years. After the Rector's death in 1884, Mrs. 
Pattison married Sir Charles Dilke in the very midst 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 108 

of the divorce proceedings which were to wreck in full 
stream a brilliant political career ; and she showed 
him a proud devotion till her death in 1904. None of 
her early friends who remember her later history can 
ever think of the ' Frances Pattison ' of Oxford days 
without a strange stirring of heart. I was much at 
Lincoln in the years before I married, and derived an 
impression from the life lived there that has never left 
me. Afterwards I saw much less of Mrs. Pattison, 
who was generally on the Riviera in the winter ; 
but from 1868 to 1872, the Rector, learned, critical, 
bitter, fastidious, and ' Mrs. Pat/ with her gaiety, 
her picturesqueness, her impatience of the Oxford 
solemnities and decorums, her sharp restless wit, her 
determination not to be academic, to hold on to the 
greater world of affairs outside mattered more to me 
perhaps than anybody else. They were very good to 
me, and I was never tired of going there : though I 
was much puzzled by their ways, and while my 
Evangelical phase lasted much scandalised often by 
the speculative freedom of the talk I heard. Some- 
times my rather uneasy conscience protested in ways 
which I think must have amused my hosts, though they 
never said a word. They were fond of asking me to 
come to supper at Lincoln on Sundays. It was a gay, 
unceremonious meal, at which Mrs. Pattison appeared 
in the kind of gown which at a much later date began 
to be called a tea-gown. It was generally white or 
grey, with various ornaments and accessories which 
always seemed to me, accustomed for so long to the 
rough-and-tumble of school life, marvels of delicacy 
and prettiness ; so that I was sharply conscious, on 



104 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

these occasions, of the graceful figure made by the young 
mistress of the old house. But some last stubborn 
trace in me of the Evangelical view of Sunday declared 
that while one might talk and one must eat ! on 
Sunday, one mustn't put on evening dress, or behave 
as though it were just like a week-day. So while 
everyone else was in evening dress, I more than once 
at seventeen came to these Sunday gatherings on a 
winter evening, purposely, in a high woollen frock, 
sternly but uncomfortably conscious of being sublime 
if only one were not ridiculous ! The Rector, ' Mrs. 
Pat/ Mr. Bywater, myself, and perhaps a couple of 
undergraduates often a bewildered and silent couple 
I see that little vanished company in the far past, 
so plainly ! Three of them are dead and for me, the grey 
walls of Lincoln must always be haunted by their ghosts. 
The historian of French painting and French 
decorative art was already in those days unfolding in 
Mrs. Pattison. Her drawing-room was French, sparely 
furnished with a few old girandoles and mirrors on its 
whi e panelled walls, and a Persian carpet with a black 
centre, on which both the French furniture and the 
living inmates of the room looked their best. And 
upstairs, in ' Mrs. Pat's ' own working-room, there were 
innumerable things that stirred my curiosity old 
French drawings and engravings, masses of foreign 
books that showed the young and brilliant owner of the 
room to be already a scholar, even as her husband 
counted scholarship ; together with the tools and 
materials for etching, a mysterious process in which 
I was occasionally allowed to lend a hand, and which, 
as often as not, during the application of the acid to 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFOKD 106 

the plate, ended in dire misfortune to the etcher's 
fingers or dress, and in the helpless laughter of both 
artist and assistant. 

The Rector himself was an endless study to me 
he and his frequent companion, Ingram Bywater, after- 
wards the distinguished Greek Professor. To listen to 
these two friends as they talked of foreign scholars in 
Paris, or Germany, of Renan, or Ranke, or Curtius ; 
as they poured scorn on Oxford scholarship, or the 
lack of it, and on the ideals of Balliol, which aimed at 
turning out public officials, as compared with the 
researching iileals of the German universities, which 
seemed to the Rector the only ideals worth calling 
academic ; or a.s they flung gibes at Christ C hurch whence 
Pusey and Liddon still directed the powerful Church 
party of the University : was to watch the doors of new 
worlds gradually opening before a girl's questioning 
intelligence. The Rector would walk up and down, 
occasionally taking a book from his crowded shelves, 
while Mr. Bywater and Mrs. Pattison smoked, with the 
after-luncheon coffee, and in those days a woman with 
a cigarette was a rarity in England and sometimes, 
at a caustic mot of the former's there would break out 
the Rector's cackling laugh, which was ugly no doubt, 
but when he was amused and at ease, extraordinarily 
full of mirth. To me he was from the beginning the 
kindest friend. He saw that I came of a literary stock 
and had literary ambitions ; and he tried to direct me. 
* Get to the bottom of something ' he would say 
' Choose a subject, and know everything about it ! ' 
I eagerly followed his advice, and began to work at 
early Spanish in the Bodleian. But I think he was 



106 A WKITEB'S BECOLLECTIONS 

wrong I venture to think so ! though as his hali 
melancholy, half satirical look comes back to me, 
I realise how easily he would defend himself, if one 
could tell him so now. I think I ought to have been 
told to take a history examination and learn Latin 
properly. But if I had, half the exploring joy of those 
early years would no doubt have been cut away. 

Later on, in the winters when Mrs. Pattison, 
threatened with rheumatic gout, disappeared to the 
Kiviera, I came to know a sadder and lonelier Eector. 
I used to go to tea with him then in his own book- 
lined sanctum, and we mended the blazing fire between 
us and talked endlessly. Presently I married, and his 
interest in me changed ; though our friendship never 
lessened, and I shall always remember with emotion 
my last sight of him lying a white and dying man on 
his sofa in London the clasp of the wasted hand, the 
sad haunting eyes. When his ' Memoirs ' appeared, 
after his death, a book of which Mr. Gladstone once 
said to me that he reckoned it as among the most 
tragic and the most memorable books of the nineteenth 
century, I understood him more clearly, and more 
tenderly, than I could have done as a girl . Particularly, 
I understood why in that sceptical and agnostic taJk 
which never spared the Anglican ecclesiastics of the 
moment, or such a later Catholic convert as Manning, 
I cannot remember that I ever heard him mention the 
great name of John Henry Newman with the slightest 
touch of disrespect. On the other hand, I once saw 
him receive a message that some friend brought him 
from Newman with an eager look and a start of pleasure. 
He had been a follower of Newman's in the Tractarian 



107 : 

days, and no one who ever caine near to Newman could 
afterwards lightly speak ill of him. It was Stanley 
and not the Rector, indeed, who said of the famous 
Oratorian that the whole course of English religious 
history might have been different if Newman had 
known German. But Pattison might have said it, 
and if he had, it would have been without the smallest 
bitterness as the mere expression of a sober and indis- 
putable truth. Alas ! merely to quote it, nowadays, 
carries one back to a Germany before the Flood 
a Germany of small States, a land of scholars and 
thinkers ; a Germany that would surely have recoiled 
in horror from any prevision of that deep and hideous 
abyss which her descendants, maddened by wealth and 
success, were one day to dig between themselves and 
the rest of Europe. 

One of my clearest memories connected with the 
Pattisons and Lincoln is that of meeting George Eliot 
and Mr. Lewes there, in the spring of 1870, when I 
was eighteen. It was at one of the Sunday suppers. 
George Eliot sat at the Rector's right hand. I was 
opposite her ; on my left was George Henry Lewes., 
to whom I took a prompt and active dislike. He and 
Mrs. Pattison kept up a lively conversation in which 
Mr. By water, on the other side of the table, p'ayed 
full part. George Eliot talked very little, and I not 
at all. The Rector was shy or tired, and George Eliot 
was in trath entirely occupied in watching or listening 
to Mr. Lewes. I was disappointed that she was so 
silent, and perhaps her quick eye may have divined it, 
for after supper, as we were going up the interesting 
old staircase, made in the thickness of the wall, which 



108 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

led direct from the dining-room to the drawing-room 
above, she said to me : ' The Rector tells me that you 
have been reading a good deal about Spain. Would you 
care to hear something of our Spanish journey ? ' the 
journey which had preceded the appearance of ' The 
Spanish Gypsy/ then newly published. My reply is 
easily imagined. The rest of the party passed through 
the dimly lit drawing-room to talk and smoke in the 
gallery beyond. George Eliot sat down in the darkness 
and I beside her. Then she talked for about twenty 
minutes, with perfect ease and finish, without mis- 
placing a word or dropping a sentence, and I realised 
at last that I was in the presence of a great writer. 
Not a great talker. It is clear that George Eliot never 
was that. Impossible for her to ' talk ' her books, 
or evolve her books from conversation, like Madame 
de Stae'l. She was too self-conscious, too desperately 
reflective, too rich in second-thoughts for that. But 
in tete-a-tete, and with time to choose her words, she 
could in monologue, with just enough stimulus from a 
companion to keep it going produce on a listener 
exactly the impression of some of her best work. As 
the low clear voice flowed on, in Mrs . Pattison's drawing 
room, I saw Saragossa, Granada, the Escorial, and 
that survival of the old Europe in the new, which one 
must go to Spain to find. Not that the description 
was particularly vivid in talking of famous places 
John Richard Green could make words tell and paint 
with far greater success ; but it was singularly complete 
and accomplished. When it was done the effect was 
there the effect she had meant to produce. I shut 
my eyes, and it all comes back : the darkened room, 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 109 

the long, pallid face, set in black lace, the evident wish 
to be kind to a young girl. 

Two more impressions of her let m3 record. The 
following day, the Pattisons took their guests to see 
the ' eights ' races from Christ Church msadow. A young 
Fellow of Merton, Mandell Creighton, afterwards the 
beloved and famous Bishop of London, was among 
those entertaining her on the barge, and on the way 
home he took her and Mr. Lewes through Merton 
garden. I was of the party, and I remember what 
a carnival of early summer it was in that enchanting 
place. The ches nuts were all out, one splendour from 
top to toe ; the laburnums, the lilacs, the hawthorns 
red and white, the new-mown grass spreading its 
smooth and silky carpet round the college walls a 
May sky overhead, and through the trees glimpses of 
towers and spires, silver grey, in the sparkling summer 
air : the picture was one of those that Oxford throws 
before the spectator, at every turn, like the careless 
beauty that knows she has only to show herself, to 
move, to breathe, to give delight. George Eliot stood 
on the grass, in the bright sun, looking at the flower- 
laden chesnuts, at the distant glimpses on all sides, of 
the surrounding city, saying little that she left to 
Mr. Lewes ! but drinking it in, storing it in that rich, 
absorbent mind of hers. And afterwards when Mr. 
Lewes, Mr. Creighton, she and I walked back to Lincoln, 
I remember another little incident throwing light on 
the ever-ready instinct of the novelist. As we turned 
into the quadrangle of Lincoln suddenly, at one of 
the upper windows of the Rector's lodgings, which 
occupied the far right-hand corner of the quad, there 



110 A WEITEirS RECOLLECTIONS 

appeared the head and shoulders of Mrs. Pattison, as 
she looked out and beckoned smiling to Mrs. Lewes. 
It was a brilliant apparition, as though a French portrait 
by Greuze or Perronneau had suddenly slipped into a 
vacant space in the old college wall. The pale, pretty 
head, blond-cendree ; the delicate smiling features and 
white throat ; a touch of black, a touch of blue ; a white 
dress ; a general eighteenth-century impression as 
though of powder and patches : Mrs. Lewes perceived 
it in a flash, and I saw her run eagerly to Mr. Lewes 
and draw his attention to the window and its occupant. 
She took his arm, while she looked and waved. If she 
had lived longer, some day, and somewhere in her 
books, that vision at the window, and that flower-laden 
garden would have reappeared. I seemed to see her 
consciously and deliberately committing them both 
to memory. 

But I do not believe that she ever meant to describe 
the Rector in ' Mr. Casaubon/ She was far too good a 
scholar herself to have perpetrated a caricature so 
flagrantly untrue. She knew Mark Pattison's quality, 
and could never have meant to draw the writer of some 
of the most fruitful and illuminating of English essays, 
and one of the most brilliant pieces of European 
biography, in the dreary and foolish pedant who over- 
shadows 'Middlemarch.' But the fact that Mark 
Pattison was an elderly scholar with a young v, ife, and 
that Gaorge Eliot knew him, led later on to a legend 
which was, I am sure, unwelcome to the writer of 
' Middlemarch,' while her supposed victim passed it 
by with amused indifference. 

As to the relation between the Rector and the 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFOED 111 

Squire of 'Robert Elsm ere* which has been often assumed, 
it was confined, as I have already said (in the introduc- 
tion to the library edition of ' Robert Elsmere ' published 
in 1909) to a likeness in outward aspect ' a few personal 
traits, and the two main facts of great learning and a 
general impatience of fools/ If one could imagine 
Mark Pattison a landowner, he would certainly never 
have neglected his estates, or tolerated an inefficient 
agent. 

Only three years intervened between my leaving 
school and my engagement to Mr. T. Humphry Ward, 
Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose College, Oxford. But 
those three years seem to me now to have been extra- 
ordinarily full. Lincoln and the Pattisons, Balliol 
and Mr. Jowett, and the Bodleian Library, outside the 
influences and affections of my own home, stand in the 
forefront of what memory looks back on as a broad and 
animated scene. The great Library, in particular, 
became to me a living and inspiring presence. When 
I think of it, as it then was, I am aware of a medley of 
beautiful things pale sunlight on book-lined walls, 
or streaming through old armorial bearings on Tudor 
windows ; spaces and distances, all books, beneath a 
painted roof from which gleamed the motto of the 
University ' Dominus illuminatio mea ' ; gowned 
figures moving silently about the spaces; the faint 
scents of old leather and polished wood ; and fusing 
it all, a stately dignity and benignant charm, through 
which the voices of the bells outside, as they struck 
eadh successive quarter from Oxford's many towers, 
seemed to breathe a certain eternal reminder of the 
past and the dead. 



112 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

But regions of the Bodleian were open to me then 
that no ordinary reader sees now Mr. Coxe the well- 
known, much-loved Bodley's Librarian of those days 
took kindly notice of the girl-reader, and very soon, 
probably on the recommendation of Mark Pattison, 
who was a Curator, made me free of the lower floors, 
where was the ' Spanish room/ with its shelves of 
seventeenth and eighteenth century volumes in sheepskin 
or vellum, with their turned-in edges and leathern 
strings. Here I might wander at will, absolutely alone, 
save for the visit of an occasional librarian from the 
upper floor, seeking a book. To get to the Spanish. 
Koom one had to pass through the Douce Library, the 
home of treasures beyond price ; on one side half 
the precious things of Renaissance printing, French or 
Italian or Elizabethan, on the other, stands of illuminated 
Missals and Hour Books, many of them rich in pictures 
and flower-work, that shone like jewels in the golden 
light of the room. That light was to me something 
tangible and friendly. It seemed to be the mingled 
product of all the delicate browns and yellows and golds 
in the bindings of the books, of the brass lattice work 
that covered them, and of reflections from the beautiful 
stone-work of the Schools Quadrangle outside. It was 
in these noble surroundings that, with far too little, 
I fear, of positive reading, and with much undisciplined 
wandering from shelf to shelf and subject to subject, 
there yet sank deep into me the sense of history, and 
of that vast ocean of the recorded past, from which 
the generations rise, and into which they fall back. 
And that in itself was a great boon almost, one might 
say, a training, of a kind. 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 113 

But a girl of seventeen is not always thinking of 
books, especially in the Oxford summer term. 

In ' Miss Bretherton/ my earliest novel, and in 
' Lady Connie/ so far my latest, 1 will be found by those 
who care to look for it, the reflection of that other life 
of Oxford, the life which takes its shape not from age, 
but from youth, not from the past which created 
Oxford, but from the lively laughing present which 
every day renews it. For six months of the year 
Oxford is a city of young men, for the most part between 
the ages of eighteen and twenty-two. In my maiden 
days it was not also a city of young women, as it is 
to-day. Women girls especially were comparatively 
on sufferance. The Heads of Houses were married ; 
the professors were mostly married ; but married 
tutors had scarcely begun to be. Only at two seasons 
of the year was Oxford invaded by women by bevies of 
maidens who came, in early May and middle June, to 
be made much of by their brothers and their brothers' 
friends, to be danced with and flirted with, to know the 
joys of coming back on a summer night from Nuneham 
up the long fragrant reaches of the lower river, or of 
* sitting out ' in historic gardens where Philip Sidney 
or Charles I. had passed. 

At the Eights and ' Commem.' the old, old place 
became a mere background for pretty dresses, and 
college luncheons, and river picnics. The seniors 
groaned often, as well they might ; for there was 
little work done in my day in the summer term. But 
it is perhaps worth while for any nation to possess 

1 These chapters were written before the appearance of Missing in 
the autumn of 11)17. 



114 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

such harmless festivals in so beautiful a setting as 
these Oxford gatherings. How many of our national 
festivals are spoilt by ugly and sordid things betting 
and drink, greed and display ! Here, all there is to 
see is a competition of boats, manned by England's best 
youth, upon a noble river, flowing, in Virgilian phrase, 
' under ancient walls ' ; a city of romance, given up 
for a few days to the pleasure of the young, and breath- 
ing into that pleasure her own refining, exalting note ; 
a stately ceremony the Encaenia going back to the 
infancy of English learning ; and the dancing of young 
men and maidens in Gothic or classical halls built long 
ago by the ' fathers who begat us/ My own recollection 
of the Oxford summer, the Oxford river and hayfields, 
the dawn on Oxford streets, as one came out from a 
Commemoration ball, or the evening under Nuneham 
woods where the swans on that still water, now, as 
always, ' float double, swan and shadow ' these things 
I hope will be with me to the end. To have lived 
through them is to have tasted youth and pleasure 
from a cup as pure, as little alloyed with baser things, 
as the high gods allow to mortals. 

Let me recall one more experience before I come 
to the married life which began in 1872 ; my first 
sight of Taine, the great French historian, in the spring 
of 1871. He had come over at the invitation of the 
Curators of the Taylorian Institution to give a series 
of lectures on Corneille and Racine. The lectures were 
arranged immediately after the surrender of Paris to 
the German troops, when it might have been hoped 
that the worst calamities of France were over. But 
before M. Taine crossed to England the insurrection 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFOED 115 

of the Commune had broken out, and while he was 
actually in Oxford delivering his six lectures, the 
terrible news of the last days of May, the burning of the 
Tuileries, the Hotel de Ville and the Cour des Comptes, 
all the savagery of the beaten revolution let loose on 
Paris itself, came crashing, day by day and hour by 
hour, like so many horrible explosions in the heavy air 
of Europe, still tremulous with the memories and agonies 
of recent war. 

How well I remember the effect in Oxford ! the 
newspaper cries in the streets, the fear each morning as 
to what new calamities might have fallen on civilisation, 
the intense fellow-feeling in a community of students 
and scholars for the students and scholars of France ! 

When M. Taine arrived, he himself bears witness 
(see his published Correspondence, vol. II) that Oxford 
could not do enough to show her sympathy with a 
distinguished Frenchman. He writes from Oxford on 
May 25 : 

I have no courage foV a letter to-day. I have just heard of 
the horrors of Paris, the burning of the Louvre, the Tuileries, 
the Hotel de Ville, etc. My heart is wrung. I have energy 
for nothing. I cannot go out and see people. I was in the 
Bodleian when the Librarian told me this and showed me 
the newspapers. In presence of such madness and such 
disasters, they treat a Frenchman here with a kind of pitying 
sympathy. 

Oxford residents indeed, inside and outside the 
colleges, crowded the first lecture to show our feeling 
not only for M. Taine, but for a France wounded and 
trampled on by her own children. The few dignified 
and touching words with which he opened his course, 



116 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

his fine dark head, the attractiveness of his subject, 
the lucidity of his handling of it, made the lecture a 
great success ; and a few nights afterwards at dinner 
at Balliol, I found myself sitting next the great man. 
In his published correspondence there is a letter 
describing this dinner which shows that I must have 
confided in him not a little as to my Bodleian reading, 
and the article en the Poema del Cid that I was writing. 
He confesses, however, that he did his best to draw 
me examining the English girl as a new specimen for 
his psychological collection. As for me, I can only 
perversely remember a passing phrase of his to the 
effect that there was too much magenta in the dress 
of English women, and too much pepper in the English 
cuisine. From English cooking which showed ill in the 
Oxford of those days he suffered indeed a good deal. 
Nor, in spite of his great literary knowledge of England 
and English, was Lis spoken English clear enough to 
enable him to grapple with the lodging-house cook. 
Professor Max Miiller, who had induced him to give 
the lectures, and watched over him during his stay, told 
me that en Lis first vLit to the historian in his Beaumont 
Street rooms, he found him sitting bewildered before 
the strangest of meals. It consisted entirely of a huge 
beef-steak, served in the un-appetising, slovenly English 
way, and a large plate of buttered toast. Nothing 
else. ' But I ordered bif-tek and pott-a-toes ! ' cried 
the puzzled historian, to his visitor ! 

Another guest of the Master's on that night was 
Mr. Swinburne, and of him too I have a vivid recollection 
as he sat opposite to me on the side next the fire, his 
small lo\ver features and slender neck over- weigh ted 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 117 

by his thick reddish hair and capacious brow. I could 
not think why he seemed so cross and uncomfortable. 
He was perpetually beckoning to the waiters, then, 
when they came, holding peremptory conversation 
with them ; while I from my side of the table could 
see them going away, with a whisper or a shrug to each 
other, like men asked for the impossible. At last with 
a kind of bound, Swinburne leapt from his chair and 
seized a copy of the Times, which he seemed to have 
persuaded one of the men to bring him. As he got up 
I saw that the fire behind him, and very close to him, 
must indeed have been burning the very marrow out 
of a long-suffering poet. And alack, in that house 
without a mistress, the small conveniences of life, such 
as fire-screens, were often overlooked. The Master 
did not possess any. In a pale exasperation Swinburne 
folded the Times over the back of his chair, and sat 
down again. Vain was the effort ! The room was 
narrow, the party large, and the servants pushing by, 
had soon dislodged the Times. Again and again did 
Swinburne in a fury replace it ; and was soon reduced 
to sitting silent and wild-eyed, his back firmly pressed 
against the chair and the newspaper, in a concentrated 
struggle with fate. 

Matthew Arnold was another of the party, and I 
have a vision of my uncle standing talking with M. Taine, 
with whom he then and there made a lasting friendship. 
The Frenchman was not, I trust, aware at that moment 
of the heresies of the English critic who had ventured 
only a few years before to speak of ' the exaggerated 
French estimate of Racine,' and even to endorse the 
judgment of Joubert 'Racine est le Virgile des 



118 A WRITER'S --RECOLLECTIONS 

ignorants ' ! Otherwise M. Taine might have given 
an even sharper edge than he actually did to his remarks, 
in his letters home, on the critical faculty of the English. 
' In all that I read and hear ' he says to Madame 
Taine ' I see nowhere the fine literary sense which 
means the gift or the art of understanding the 
souls and passions of the past/ And again, ' I have 
had infinite trouble to-day to make my audience 
appreciate some finesses of Racine/ There is a note of 
resigned exasperation in these comments which reminds 
me of the passionate feeling of another French critic 
Edmond Scherer, Sainte-Beuve's best successor ten 
years later. A propos of some judgment of Matthew 
Arnold whom Scherer delighted in on Racine, of the 
same kind as those I have already quoted, the French 
man of letters once broke out to me, almost with fury, 
as we walked together at Versailles. But, after all, was 
the Oxford which contained Pater, Pattison, and Bywater, 
which had nurtured Matthew Arnold and Swinburne 
Swinburne with his wonderful knowledge of the intricacies 
and subtleties of the French tongue, and the French 
literature merely ' solide and positif ,' as Taine declares ? 
The judgment is, I think, a characteristic judgment of 
that man of formulas often so brilliant, and often 
so mistaken who in the famous ' History of English 
Literature/ taught his English readers as much by his 
blunders as by his merits. He provoked us into 
thinking. And what critic does more ? Is not the 

o 

whole fraternity like so many successive Penelopes, 
each unravelling the web of the one before ? The point 
is that the web should be eternally re-made and eternally 
unravelled. 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 119 

n 

I married Mr. Thomas Humphry Ward, Fellow 
and Tutor of Brasenose College, on April 6, 1872, the 
knot being tied by my father's friend, my grandfather's 
pupil and biographer, Dean Stanley. For nine years, 
till the spring of 1881, we lived in Oxford, in a little 
house, north of the Parks, in what was then the newest 
quarter of the University town. They were years, 
for both of us, of great happiness and incessant activity. 
Our children, two daughters and a son, were born in 
1874, 1876 and 1879. We had many friends, all pur- 
suing the same kind of life as ourselves, and interested 
in the same kind of things. Nobody under the rank 
of a Head of a College, except a very few privileged 
Professors, possessed as much as a thousand a year. 
The average income of the new race of married tutors 
was not much more than half that sum. Yet we all 
gave dinner-parties and furnished our houses with 
Morris papers, old chests and cabinets, and blue pots. 
The dinner-parties were simple and short. At our 
own early efforts of the kind, there certainly was not 
enough to eat. But we all improved with time ; 
and on the whole I think we were very fair housekeepers 
and competent mothers. Most of us were very anxious 
to be up-to-date, and in the fashion, whether 
in aesthetics, in house-keeping, or education. But 
our fashion was not that of Belgravia or Mayfair, 
which indeed we scorned ! It was the fashion of the 
movement which sprang from Morris and Burne-Jones. 
Liberty stuffs very plain in line, but elaborately 
* smocked/ were greatly in vogue, and evening dresses, 



120 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

' cut square/ or with ' Watteau pleats,' were generally 
worn, and often in conscious protest against the London 
' low dress/ which Oxford young married Oxford 
thought both ugly and ' fast/ And when we had 
donned our Liberty gowns we went out to dir.ner, the 
husband walking, the wife in a bath chair, drawn by 
an ancient member of an ancient and close fraternity 
the * chairmen ' of old Oxford. 

Almost immediately opposite to us in the Bradmore 
Road, lived Walter Pater and his sisters. The exquisite- 
ness of their small house, and the charm of the three 
people who lived in it will never be forgotten by those 
who knew them well in those days when by the publica- 
tion of the * Studies in the Renaissance ' (1873) their 
author had just become famous. I recall very clearly the 
effect of that book, and of the strange and poignant sense 
of beauty expressed in it; of its entire aloofness also 
from the Christian tradition of Oxford, its glorification 
ol the higher and intenser forms of aesthetic pleasure, 
of * passion ' in the intellectual sense as against the 
Christian doctrine of self-denial and renunciation. 
It was a gospel that both stirred and scandalised Oxford. 
The bishop of the diocese thought it worth while to 
protest. There was a cry of ' Neo-paganism/ and 
various attempts at persecution. The author of the 
book was quite unmoved. In those days Walter 
Pater's mind was still full of revolutionary ferments 
which were just as sincere, just as much himself as 
that later hesitating and wistful return towards 
Christianity, and Christianity of the Catholic type, 
which is embodied in ' Marius the Epicurean/ the most 
beautiful of the spiritual romances of Europe since 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 121 

the 'Confessions/ I can remember a dinner-party at 
his house, where a great tumult arose over some abrupt 
statement of his made to the High Church wife of a 
well-known professor. Pater had been in some way 
pressed controversially beyond the point of wisdom, 
and had said suddenly that no reasonable person could 
govern their lives by the opinions or actions of a man 
who died eighteen centuries ago. The Professor and 
his wife I look back to them both with the warmest 
affection departed hurriedly, in agitation ; and the 
rest of us only gradually found out what had 
happened. 

But before we left Oxford in 1881, this attitude of 
mind had, I think, greatly changed. Mr. Gosse in the 
memoir of Walter Pater contributed to the Dictionary 
of National Biography says that before 1870, he had 
gradually relinquished all belief in the Christian religion 
and leaves it there. But the interesting and touching 
thing to watch was the gentle and almost imperceptible 
flowing back of the tide over the sands it had left bare. 
It may be said, I think, that he never returned to 
Christianity in the orthodox, or intellectual sense. But 
his heart returned to it. He became once more endlessly 
interested in it, and haunted by the ' something ' in it, 
which he thought inexplicable. A remembrance of my 
own shows this. In my ardent years of exploration and 
revolt, conditioned by the historical work that occupied 
me during the later seventies, I once said to him in 
tete-a-tete, reckoning confidently on his sympathy, and 
with the intolerance and certainty of youth, that 
orthodoxy could not possibly maintain itself long against 
its assailants, especially from the historical and literary 



122 A WKITEB'S KECOLLECTIOflS 

camps, and that we should live to see it break down. 
He shook his head and looked rather troubled. * I 
don't think so ' he said. Then, with hesitation 
'And we don't altogether agree. You think it's all 
plain. But I can't. There are such mysterious things. 
Take that saying " Come unto me, all ye that are weary 
and heavy laden." How can you explain that ? There 
is a mystery in it something supernatural' 

A few years later, I should very likely have replied 
that the answer of the modern critic would be : ' The 
words you quote are in all probability from a lost Wisdom 
book ; there are very close analogies in Proverbs 
and in the Apocrypha. They are a fragment without a 
context, and may represent on the Lord's lips, either 
a quotation, or .the text of a discourse. Wisdom is 
speaking the Wisdom " which is justified of her 
children." ' But if anyone had made such a reply, it 
would not have affected the mood in Pater of which 
this conversation gave me my first glimpse, and which 
is expressed again and again in the most exquisite 
passages of ' Marius.' Turn to the first time when 
Marius under Marcus Aurelius is present at a Christ- 
ian ceremony, and sees, for the first time, the ' wonderful 
spectacle of those who believed.' 

The people here collected might have figured as the earliest 
handsel or pattern of a new world, from the very face of which 
discontent had passed away .... They had faced life and 
were glad, by some science or light of knowledge they had, to 
which there was certainly no parallel in the older world. Was 
some credible message from beyond ' the flaming rampart of 
the world ' a message of hope . . . already moulding their 
very bodies and looks and voices, now and here? 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 128 

Or again, to the thoughts of Marius at the approach 
of death : 

At this moment, his unclouded receptivity of soul, grown 
so steadily through all those years, from experience to exper- 
ience, was at its height ; the house was ready for the possible 
guest, the tablet of the mind white and smooth, for whatever 
divine fingers might choose to write there. 

' Marius ' was published twelve years after the 
' Studies in the Renaissance/ and there is a world 
between the two books. Some further light will be 
thrown on this later phase of Mr. Pater's thought by 
a letter he wrote to me in 1885 on my translation 
of Aniiel's 'Jomnal Intime.' Here it is rather the 
middle days of his life that concern me, and the years of 
happy friendship with him and his sisters, when we were 
all young together. Mr. Pater and my husband were 
both fellows and tutors of Brasenose, though my husband 
was much the younger ; a fact which naturally brought 
us into frequent contact. And the beautiful little house 
across the road, with its two dear mistresses drew 
me perpetually, both before and after my marriage. 
The drawing-room which runs the whole breadth of the 
house from the road to the garden behind was ' Paterian ' 
in every line and ornament. There was a Morris paper ; 
spindle-legged tables and chairs ; a sparing allowance 
of blue plates and pots, bought, I think, in Holland, 
where Oxford residents in my day were always foraging, 
to return, often, with treasures of which the very memory 
now stirs a half-amused envy of one's own past self, that 
had such chances and lost them ; framed embroidery of 
the most delicate design and colour, the work of Mr, 



124 A WKITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Pater's elder sister ; engravings, if I remember right, 
from Botticelli or Luini, or Mantegna ; a few mirrors, 
and a very few flowers, chosen and arranged with a 
simple yet conscious art. I see that room always with 
the sun in it, touching the polished surfaces of wood 
and brass and china, and bringing out its pure, bright 
colour. I see it too pervaded by the presence of the 
younger sister Clara, a personality never to be for- 
gotten by those who loved her. Clara Pater, whose 
grave and noble beauty in youth has been preserved in a 
drawing by Mr. Wirgman, was indeed a ' rare and 
dedicated spirit/ When I first knew her, she was four or 
five and twenty, intelligent, alive, sympathetic, with a 
delightful humour, and a strong judgment, but without 
much positive acquirement. Then after some years, 
she began to learn Latin and Greek with a view to 
teaching ; and after we left Oxford she became Vice- 
President of the new Somerville College for Women. 
Several generations of girl-students must still preserve 
the tenderest and most grateful memories of all that she 
was there, as woman, teacher, and friend. Her point 
of view, her opinion had always the crispness, the savour 
that goes with perfect sincerity. She feared no one, 
and she loved many, as they loved her. She loved 
animals too, as all the household did. How well I 
remember the devoted nursing given by the brother 
and sisters to a poor little paralytic cat, whose life they 
tried to save in vain ! When, later, I came across in 
' Marius ' the account of Marcus Aurelius carrying away 
the dead child Annius Verus, * pressed closely to his 
bosom, as if yearning just then for one thing only, to be 
united, to be absolutely one with it, in its obscure 



YOUNG DAYS AT OXFORD 125 

distress' I remembered the absorption of the writer 
of those lines, and of his sisters, in the suffering of that 
poor little creature, long years before. I feel tolerably 
certain that in writing the words Walter Pater had that 
past experience in mind. 

After Walter Pater's death, Clara, with her elder 
sister, became the vigilant and joint guardians of their 
brother's books and fame, till, four years ago, a terrible 
illness cut short her life, and set free, in her brother's 
words, the 'unclouded and receptive soul.' 



CHAPTER VII 
BALLIOL AND LINCOLN 

WHEN the Oxford historian of the future comes across 
the name and influence of Benjamin Jowett, the famous 
Master of Balliol, and Greek professor, in the mid-current 
of the nineteenth century, he will not be without full 
means of finding out what made that slight figure 
(whereof he will be able to study the outward and visible 
presence in some excellent portraits, and in many 
caricatures) so significant and so representative. The 
' Life ' of the Master, by Evelyn Abbott and Lewis 
Campbell, is to me one of the most interesting biogra- 
phies of our generation. It is long for those who have 
no Oxford ties, no doubt, too long ; and it is cumbered 
with the echoes of old controversies, theological and 
academic, which have mostly, though by no means 
wholly, passed into a dusty limbo. But it is one of 
the rare attempts that English biography has seen to 
paint a man as he really was ; and to paint him not 
with the sub-malicious strokes of a Purcell, but in 
love, although in truth. 

The Master, as he fought his many fights, with his 
abnormally strong will, and his dominating personality ; 
the Master, as he appeared, on the one hand, to the 

12C 



BALLIOL AND LINCOLN 127 

upholders of ' research,' of learning that is, as an end 
in itself apart from teaching, and, on the other, to the 
High Churchmen encamped in Christ Church, to Pusey, 
Liddon, and all their clan pugnacious, formidable, 
and generally successful here he is to the life. This is 
the Master whose personality could never be forgotten 
in any room he chose to enter ; who brought restraint 
rather than ease to the gatherings of his friends, mainly 
because, according to his own account, of a shyness he 
could never overcome ; whose company on a walk was 
too often more of a torture than an honour to the under- 
graduate selected for it, whose lightest words were 
feared, quoted, chuckled over, or resented, like those 
of no one else. 

Of this Master, I have many remembrances. I see, 
for instance, a drawing-room full of rather tongue-tied 
embarrassed guests, some Oxford residents, some 
Londoners ; and the Master among them, as a stimu- 
lating but disintegrating ! force, of whom every one 
was uneasily conscious. The circle was wide, the 
room bare, and the Balliol arm-chairs were not placed 
for conversation. On a high chair against the wall, 
sat a small boy of ten we will call him Arthur 
oppressed by his surroundings. The talk languished 
and dropped. From one side of the large room, the 
Master, raising his voice, addressed the small boy on 
the other side. 

' Well, Arthur, so I hear you've begun Greek. How 
are you getting on ? ' 

To the small boy looking round the room it seemed 
as though twenty awful grown-ups were waiting in a 
dead silence to eat him up. He rushed upon his answer. 

' I I'm reading the Anabasis,' he said desperately. 



128 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

The false quantity sent a shock through the room. 
Nobody laughed, out of sympathy with the boy, who 
already knew that something dreadful had happened. 
The boy's miserable parents, Londoners, who were 
among the twenty, wished themselves under the floor. 
The Master smiled. 

' Anabasis, Arthur/ he said cheerfully. ' You'll 
get it right next time/ 

And he went across to the boy, evidently feeling for 
him, and wishing to put him at ease. But after thirty 
years, the boy and his parents still remember the incident 
with a shiver. It could not have produced such an 
effect, except in an atmosphere of tension ; and that, 
alas ! too often, was the atmosphere which surrounded 
the Master. 

I can remember, too, many proud yet anxious half- 
hours in the Master's study such a privilege, yet such 
an ordeal ! when, after our migration to London, we 
became, at regular intervals, the Master's week-end 
visitors. ' Come and talk to me a little in my study/ 
the Master would say pleasantly. And there in the 
room where he worked for so many years, as the inter- 
preter of Greek thought to the English world, one would 
take a chair beside the fire, with the Master opposite. 
I have described my fireside tetes-a-tete, as a girl, 
with another head of a College the Rector of Lincoln, 
Mark Pattison. But the Master was a far more strenuous 
companion. With him, there were no diversions, 
none ! no relief from the breathless adventure of trying 
to please him, and doing one's best. The Rector once, 
being a little invalidish, allowed me to make up the 
fire, and after watching the process sharply, said 
' Good ! does it drive you distracted, too, when people 



BALLIOL AND LINCOLN 129 

put on coals the wrong way ? ' An interruption, which 
made for human sympathy ! The Master, as far as 
I can remember, had no -' nerves ' ; and ' nerves ' are a 
bond between many. But he occasionally had sudden 
returns upon himself. I remember once after we had 
been discussing a religious book which had interested us 
both, he abruptly drew himself up, in the full tide of talk, 
and said with a curious impatience ' But one can't be 
always thinking of these things ! ' and changed the 
subject. 

So much for the Master, the stimulus of whose mere 
presence was, according to his biographers, ' often 
painful.' But there were at least two other Masters in 
the ' Mr. Jowett ' we reverenced. And they too are 
fully shown in this biography. The Master who loved 
his friends and thought no pains too great to take for 
them ; including the very rare pains of trying to mend 
their characters by faithfulness and plain speaking, 
whenever he thought they wanted it. The Master, 
again, whose sympathies were always with social re- 
form, and with the poor, whose hidden life was full of 
deeds of kindness and charity, who, in spite of his 
difficulties of manner, was loved by all sorts and condi- 
tions of men and women in all circles of life ; by 
politicians and great ladies ; by diplomats and scholars 
and poets ; by his secretary and his servants : there 
are many traits of this good man and useful citizen, 
recorded by his biographers. 

And, finally, there was the Master who reminded his 
most intimate friends of a sentence of his about Greek 
literature, which occurs in the Introduction to the 
' Phaedrus.' ' Under the marble exterior of Greek litera- 
ture was concealed a soul thrilling \*ith spiritual emotion,' 



180 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

says the Master. His own was not exactly a marble 
exterior ; but the placid and yet shrewd cheerfulness 
of his delicately rounded face, with its small mouth and 
chin, its great brow, and frame of snowy hair, gave but 
little clue to the sensitive and mystical soul within. 
If ever a man was Gottbetrunken, it was the Master, 
many of whose meditations and passing thoughts, with- 
drawn, while he lived, from all human ken, yet written 
down in thirty or forty volumes ! for his own dis- 
cipline and remembrance, can now be read, thanks to 
his biographers, in the pages of the Life. They are 
extraordinarily frank and simple ; startling often, in 
their bareness and truth. But they are, above all, the 
thoughts of a mystic, moving in a divine presence. An 
old and intimate friend of the Master's once said to me 
that he believed ' Jowett's inner mind, especially to- 
wards the end of his life, was always in an attitude of 
Prayer. One would go and talk to him on University 
or College business in his study, and suddenly see his 
lips moving, slightly and silently, and know what it 
meant.' The records of him which his death revealed 
and his closest friends realised it in life show a man 
perpetually conscious of a mysterious and blessed 
companionship ; which is the mark of the religious 
man, in all faiths and all churches. Yet this was the 
man who, for the High Church party at Oxford, with 
its headquarters at Christ Church, under the flag of 
Dr. Pusey and Canon Liddon, was the symbol and 
embodiment of all heresy ; whose University salary 
as Greek professor, which depended on a Christ Church 
subsidy, was withheld for years by the same High- 
churchmen, because of their inextinguishable wrath 



BALLIOL AND LINCOLN 131 

against the Liberal leader who had contributed so 
largely to the test-abolishing legislation of 1870 legis- 
lation by which Oxford, in Liddon's words, was ' logically 
lost to the Church of England/ 

Yet no doubt they had their excuses ! For this, too, 
was the man who, in a city haunted by Tracbarian 
shades, once said to his chief biographer that ' Voltaire 
had done more good than all the Fathers of the Church 
put together ! ' who scornfully asks himself in his diary, 
a propos of the Bishops' condemnation of ' Essays and 
Reviews/ ' What is Truth agaii st an esprit de corps ? ' 
and drops out the quiet dictum : ' Half the books that 
are published are religious books, and what trash this 
religious literature is ! ' Nor did the Evangelicals 
escape. The Master's dislike for many well-known 
hymns specially dear to I hat persuasion was never 
concealed. ' How cocky they are ! ' he would say con- 
temptuously. '"When upwards I fly Quite justified 
I ' who can repeat a thing like that ? ' 

How the old war-cries ring again in one's ears as 
one looks back ! Those who have only known the Oxford 
of the last twenty years can never, I think, feel towards 
that ' august place ' as we did, in the seventies of the 
last century ; we who were still within sight and hearing 
of the great fighting years of an earlier generation, and 
still scorched by their dying fires. Balliol, Christ 
Church, Lincoln : the Liberal and utilitarian camp, 
the Church camp, the researching and pure scholarship 
camp with Science and the Museum hovering in the 
background, as the growing aggressive powers of the 
future seeking whom they might devour : they were 
the signs and symbols of mighty hosts, of great forces 



182 A WKITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

still visibly incarnate, and in marching array. Balliol 
versus Christ Church Jowett versus Pusey and Liddon 
while Lincoln despised both, and the new scientific 
forces watched and waited : that was how we saw the 
field of battle, and the various alarms and excursions 
it was always providing. 

But Balliol meant more to me than the Master. 
Professor Thomas Hill Green ' Green of Balliol ' 
was no less representative in our days of the spiritual 
and liberating forces of the great college ; and the time 
which has now elapsed since his death has clearly 
shown that his philosophic work and influence hold a 
lasting and conspicuous place in the history of nine- 
teenth-century thought. He and his wife became our 
intimate friends, and in the ' Grey ' of ' Robert Elsmere ' 
I tried to reproduce a few of those traits traits of a 
great thinker and teacher, who was also one of the 
simplest, sincerest, and most practical of men which 
Oxford will never forget, so long as high culture and 
noble character are dear to her. His wife so his friend 
and biographer, Lewis Nettleship, tells us once com- 
pared him to Sir Bors in ' The Holy Grail ' : 

A square-set man and honest ; and his eyes, 
An out-door sign of all the wealth within, 
Smiled with his lips a smile beneath a cloud, 
But Heaven had meant it for a sunny one ! 

A quotation in which the mingling of a cheerful, 
practical, humorous temper, the temper of the active 
citizen and politician, with the heavy tasks of philosophic 
thought, is very happily suggested. As we knew him, 
indeed, before his growing reputation, confirmed by 
the Introduction to the Clarendon Press edition of 
Hume, had led to his appointment as Whyte's 



BALLIOL AND LINCOLN 188 

Professor of Moral Philosophy, Mr. Green was not only 
a leading Balliol tutor, but an energetic Liberal, a 
member both of the Oxford Town Council and of various 
University bodies ; a helper in all the great steps taken 
for the higher education of women at Oxford, and 
keenly attracted by the project of a High School for the 
town boys of Oxford a man, in other words, pre- 
occupied, just as the Master was, and for all his philo- 
sophic genius, with the need of leading * a useful life/ 

Let me pause to think how much that phrase meant 
in the mouths of the best men whom Balliol produced, 
in the days when I knew Oxford. The Master, Green, 
Toynbee their minds were full, half a century ago, of 
the ' condition of the people ' question, of temperance, 
housing, wages, electoral reform ; and within the 
University, and by the help of the weapons of thought 
and teaching, they regarded themselves as the natural 
allies of the Liberal party which was striving for these 
things through politics and Parliament. ' Usefulness/ 
' social reform/ the bettering of daily life for the many 
these ideas are stamped on all their work and on all 
the biographies of them that remain to us. 

And the significance of it is only to be realised when 
we turn to the rival group, to Christ Church, and the religi- 
ous party which that name stood for. Read the lives of 
Liddon, of Pusey, or to go further back of the great 
Newman himself. Nobody will question the personal 
goodness and charity of any of the three. But how 
little the leading ideas of that seething time of social 
and industrial reform, from the appearance of Sybil 
in 1843 to the Education Bill of 1870, mattered either 
to Pusey or to Liddon, compared with the date of 
the book of Daniel, or the retention of the Athanasian 



184 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Creed ! Newman, at a time when national drunkenness 
was an overshadowing terror in the minds of all reformers, 
confesses with a pathetic frankness that he had never 
considered ' whether there were too many public-houses 
in England or no ; ' and in all his religious controversies 
of the thirties and the forties, you will look in vain for 
any word of industrial or political reform. So also in the 
' Life ' of that great rhetorician and beautiful personality, 
Canon Liddon, you will scarcely find a single letter that 
touches on any question of social betterment. How to 
safeguard the 'principle of authority/ how to uphold 
the traditional authorship of the Pentateuch, and of 
the Book of Daniel, against ' infidel ' criticism ; how 
to stifle among the younger High Churchmen like Mr. 
(now Bishop) Gore, then head of the Pusey House, the 
first advances towards a reasonable freedom of thought ; 
how to maintain the doctrine of Eternal Punishment 
against the protest of the religious consciousness itself 
it is on these matters that Canon Liddon's corre- 
spondence turns, it was to them his life was devoted. 

How vainly ! Who can doubt now which type of 
life and thought had in it the seeds of growth and per- 
manence the Balliol type, or the Christ Church type ? 
There are many High Churchmen, it is true, at the 
present day, and many Ritualist Churches. But they 
are alive to-day, just in so far as they have learnt the 
lesson of social pity, and the lesson of a reasonable 
criticism, from the men whom Pusey and Liddon and 
half the bishops condemned and persecuted in the 
middle years of the nineteenth century. 

When we were living in Oxford, however, this was 
not exactly the point of view from which the great 



BALLIOL AND LINCOLN 135 

figure of Liddon presented itself, to us of the Liberal 
camp. We were constantly aware of him, no doubt, as 
the rival figure to the Master of Balliol, as the arch 
wire-puller and ecclesiastical intriguer in University 
affairs, leading the Church forces with a more than 
Roman astuteness. But his great mark was made, of 
course, by his preaching, and that not so much by the 
things said as by the man saying them. Who now would 
go to Liddon 's famous Bamptons, for all their learning, 
for a still valid defence of the orthodox doctrine of the 
Incarnation ? Those wonderful paragraphs of subtle 
argumentation from which the great preacher emerged, 
as triumphantly as Mr. Gladstone from a Gladstonian 
sentence in a House of Commons debate what re- 
mains of them ? Liddon wrote of Stanley that he 
Stanley was ' more entirely destitute of the logical 
faculty ' than any educated man he knew. In a sense 
it was true. But Stanley, if he had been aware of the 
criticism, might have replied that, if he lacked logic, 
Liddon lacked something much more vital i.e. the 
sense of history and of the relative value of testimony ! 
Newman, Pusey, Liddon all three, great school- 
men, arguing from an accepted brief; the man of 
genius, the man of a vast industry, intense but futile, 
the man of captivating presence and a perfect rhetoric : 
history, with its patient burrowings, has surely under- 
mined the work of all three ; sparing only that element 
in the work of one of them Newman which is the 
preserving salt of all literature i.e. the magic of per- 
sonality. And some of the most efficacious burrowers 
have been their own spiritual children. As was fitting ! 
For the Tractarian movement, with its appeal to the 



.186 A WKITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

primitive church, was in truth, and quite unconsciously, 
one of the agencies in a great process of historical 
enquiry, which is still going on, and of which the end 
is not yet. 

But to me, in my twenties, these great names were 
not merely names or symbols, as they are to the men 
and women of the present generation. Newman I 
had seen in my childhood, walking about the streets of 
Edgbaston, and had shrunk from him in a dumb childish 
resentment as from someone whom I understood to be 
the author of our family misfortunes. In those days, 
as I have already recalled in an earlier chapter, the 
daughters of a ' mixed marriage ' were brought up in 
the mother's faith and the sons in the father's. I, 
therefore, as a schoolgirl under Evangelical influence, was 
not allowed to make friends with any of my father's 
Catholic colleagues. Then, in 1880, twenty years later, 
Newman came to Oxford, and on Trinity Monday there 
was a great gathering at Trinity College, where the 
Cardinal in his red, a blanched and spiritual presence, 
received the homage of a new generation who saw in him 
a great soul and a great master of English, and cared 
little or nothing for the controversies in which he had 
spent his prime. As my turn came to shake hands, I 
recalled my father to him and the Edgbaston days. 
His face lit up almost mischievously. ' Are you the 
little girl I remember seeing sometimes in the dis- 
tance ? ' he said to me, with a smile and a look that only 
he and I understood. 

On the Sunday preceding that gathering I went to 
hear his last sermon in the city he had loved so well, 
preached at the new Jesuit church in the suburbs ; 
while little more than a mile away, Bidding Prayer 



BALLIOL AND LINCOLN 137 

and sermon were going on as usual in the University 
Church where in his youth, week by week, he had so 
deeply stirred the hearts and consciences of men. The 
sermon in St. Aloysius was preached with great difficulty, 
and was almost incoherent from the physical weakness of 
the speaker. Yet who that was present on that Sunday 
will ever forget the great ghost that fronted them, the 
faltering accents, the words from which the life blood 
had departed yet not the charm ? 

Then Pusey! There comes back to me a bowed 
and uncouth figure, whom one used to see both in the 
Cathedral procession on a Sunday, and rarely in the 
University pulpit. One sermon on Darwinism, which was 
preached, if I remember right, in the early seventies, 
remains with me, as the appearance of some modern 
Elijah, returning after long silence and exile to protest 
against an unbelieving world. Sara Coleridge had 
years before described Pusey in the pulpit with a few 
vivid strokes. 

He has not one of the graces of oratory [she says]. His 
discourse is generally a rhapsody describing with infinite 
repetition the wickedness of sin, the worthlcssness of earth, 
and the blessedness of heaven. He is as still as a statue all the 
time he is uttering it, looks as white as a sheet, and is as 
monotonous in delivery as possible. 

Nevertheless Pusey wielded a spell which is worth 
much oratory the spell of a soul dwelling spiritually 
on the heights ; and a prophet moreover may be as 
monotonous or as incoherent as he pleases, while the 
world is still in tune with his message. But in the 
seventies, Oxford, at least, was no longer in tune with 
Pusey 's message, and the effect of the veteran leader, 
trying to come to terms with Darwinism, struggling 

K 



188 A WEITEE'S KECOLLECTIONS 

that is with new and stubborn forces he had no further 
power to bind, was tragic, or pathetic, as such things 
must always be. New Puseys arise in every century. 
The ' sons of authority ' will never perish out of the 
earth. But the language changes, and the argument 
changes ; and perhaps there are none more secretly 
impatient with the old prophet than those younger 
spirits of his own kind who are already stepping into 
his shoes. 

Far different was the effect of Liddon, in those days, 
upon us younger folk ! The grace and charm of Liddon's 
personal presence were as valuable to his party in the 
seventies as that of Dean Stanley had been to Liberalism 
at an earlier stage. There was indeed much in common 
between the aspect and manner of the two men, though 
no likeness, in the strict sense, whatever. But the 
exquisite delicacy of feature, the brightness of eye, the 
sensitive play of expression, were alike in both. Saint 
Simon says of Fenelon : 

He was well made, pale, with eyes that showered intelligence 
and fire, and with a physiognomy that no one who had seen 
it once could forget. It had both gravity and polish, serious- 
ness and gaiety ; it spoke equally of the scholar, the bishop 
and the grand seigneur, and the final impression was one of 
intelligence, subtlety, grace, charm ; above all, of dignity. 
One had to tear oneself from looking at him. 

Many of those who knew Liddon best could, I think, 
have adapted this language to him ; and there is much 
in it that fitted Arthur Stanley. 

But the love and gift for managing men was of 
course a secondary thing in the case of our great preacher. 
The University politics of Liddon and his followers are 



BALL10L AND LINCOLN 139 

dead and gone ; and as I have ventured to think, the 
intellectual force of Liddon's thoughts and arguments, 
as they are presented to us now on the printed page, is 
also a thing of the past. But the vision of the preacher, 
in those who saw it, is imperishable. The scene in St. 
Paul's has been often described, by none better than by 
Dr. Liddon's colleague, Canon Scott Holland. But the 
Oxford scene, with all its old-world setting, was more 
touching, more interesting. As I think of it, I seem to 
be looking out from those dark seats under the under- 
graduates' gallery where sat. the wives of the Masters 
of Arts at the crowded church, as it waited for the 
preacher. First, came the stir of the procession ; the 
long line of Heads of Houses, in their scarlet robes as 
Doctors of Divinity, all but the two heretics, Pattison 
and Jowett, who walked in their plain black, and warmed 
my heart always thereby ! And then, the Vice-Chan- 
cellor, with the ' pokers/ and the preacher. All eyes 
were fixed on the slender willowy figure, and the dark 
head touched with silver. The bow to the Vice-Chan- 
cellor as they parted at the foot of the pulpit stairs, 
the mounting of the pulpit, the quiet look out over 
the Church, the Bidding Prayer, the voice it was all 
part of an incomparable performance, which cannot be 
paralleled to-day. 

The voice was high and penetrating, without much 
variety as I remember it ; but of beautiful quality, and 
at times wonderfully moving. And what was still 
more appealing was the evident strain upon the speaker 
of his message. It wore him out visibly as he delivered 
it. He came down from the pulpit white and shaken, 
dripping with perspiration. Virtue had gone out of 



140 A WRITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

him. Yet his effort had never for a moment weakened 
his perfect self-control, the flow and finish of the long 
sentences, or the subtle inter-connection of the whole ! 
Ore Sunday I remember in particular. Oxford had 
been saddened the day before by the somewhat sudden 
death of a woman whom everybody loved and respected 
Mrs. Acland, the wife of the well-known doctor and 
professor. And Liddon with a wonderfully happy 
instinct, had added to his sermon a paragraph dealing 
with Mrs. Acland's death, which held us all spell-bound 
till the beautiful words died into silence. It was done 
with a fastidious literary taste that is rather French 
than English ; and yet it came from the very heart of 
the speaker. Looking back through my many memories 
of Dr. Liddon as a preacher, that tribute to a noble 
woman in death remains with me as the finest and most- 
las ting of them all. 






CHAPTER VIII 
EARLY MARRIED LIFE 

How many other figures in that vanished Oxford world 
I should like to dra\v ! Mandell or ' Max ' Creighton, 
our life-long friend, then just married to the wife who 
was his best comrade while he lived, and since his death 
has made herself an independent force in English life. 
I first remember the future Bishop of London when I 
was fifteen, and he was reading history with my father 
on a Devonshire reading party. The tall, slight figure 
in blue serge, the red-gold hair, the spectacles, the ke^n 
features, and quiet commanding eye I see them first 
against a background of rocks on the Lynton shore. 
Then again a few years later, in his beautiful Merton 
rooms, with the vine-tendrils curling round the windows, 
the Morris paper, and the blue willow-pattern plates upon 
it, that he was surely the first to collect in Oxford. A 
luncheon party returns upon me in Brasenose where 
the brilliant Merton fellow and tutor, already a power 
in Oxford, first met his future wife ; afterwards, their 
earliest married home in Oxford so near to ours, in the 
new region of the Parks ; then the Vicarage on the 
Northumberland coast where Creighton wrestled with 
the north-country folk, with their virtues and their 

141 



142 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

vices, drinking deep draughts thereby from the sources 
of human nature ; where he read and wrote history, 
preparing for his magnum opus, the history of the 
Renaissance Popes ; where he entertained his friends, 
brought up his children, and took mighty walks 
always the same restless, energetic, practical, pondering 
spirit, his mind set upon the Kingdom of God, and 
convinced that in and through the English Church a 
man might strive for the Kingdom as faithfully and 
honestly as anywhere else. The intellectual doubts and 
misgivings on the subject of taking orders, so common 
in the Oxford of his day, Creighton had never felt. His 
life had ripened to a rich maturity without apparently 
any of those fundamental conflicts which had scarred 
the lives of other men. 

The fact set him in strong contrast with another 
historian who was also our intimate friend John 
Richard Green. When I first knew him, during my 
engagement to my husband, and seven years before 
the ' Short History ' was published, he had just prac- 
tically though not formally given up his orders. He 
had been originally curate to my husband's father, who 
held a London living, and the bond between him and his 
Vicar's family was singularly close and affectionate. 
After the death of the dear mother of the flock, a 
saintly and tender spirit, to whom Mr. Green was much 
attached, he remained the faithful friend of all her 
children. How much I had heard of him before I saw 
him ! The expectation of our first meeting filled with 
trepidation. Should I be admitted too into that large 
and generous heart ? would he ' pass ' the girl who had 
dared to be his ' boy's ' fiancee ? But after ten minutes 
all was well, and he was my friend no less than my 



EARLY MABE1ED LIFE 143 

husband's, to the last hour of his fruitful, suffering 
life. 

And how much it meant, his friendship ! It became 
plain very soon after our marriage that ours was to be 
a literary partnership. My first published story, written 
when I was eighteen, had appeared in the Churchman's 
Magazine in 1870, and an article on the * Poema del Cid,' 
the firstfruits of my Spanish browsings in the Bodleian, 
appeared in Macmillan early in 1872. My husband was 
already writing in the Saturday Review and other 
quarters, and had won his literary spurs as one of the 
three authors of that jeu d'esprit of no small fame 
in its day, the Oxford Spectator. Our three children 
arrived in 1874, 1876, and 1879, and all the time I was 
reading, listening, talking, and beginning to write in 
earnest mostly for the Saturday Review. ' J. R. G.,' 
as we loved to call him, took up my efforts with 
the warmest encouragement, tempered indeed by 
constant fears that I should become a hopeless 
book-worm and Dryasdust, yielding day after day to 
the mere luxury of reading, and putting nothing into 
shape ! 

Against this supposed tendency in me he railed 
perpetually. ' Anyone can read ! ' he would say ; 
' anybody of decent wits can accumulate notes and 
references the difficulty is to write to make some- 
thing ! ' And later on, when I was deep in Spanish 
chronicles, and thinking vaguely of a History of Spain, 
early Spain at any rate, he wrote almost impatiently 
' Begin and begin your book. Don't do " studies " 
and that sort of thing one's book teaches one every- 
thing as one writes it.' I was reminded of that letter 
years later when I came across in Amiel's journal a 



U4 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

passage almost to the same effect. ' It is by writing 
that one learns it is by pumping that one draws water 
into one's well/ But in J. R. G/s case the advice 
he gave his friend was carried out by himself through 
every hour of his short, concentrated life. ' He died 
learning/ as the inscription on his grave testifies ; but 
he also died making. In other words, the shaping, 
creative instinct wrestled in him with the powers of 
death through long years, and never deserted him to 
the very end. Who that has ever known the passion 
of the writer and the student can read without tears 
the record of his last months ? He was already doomed 
when I first saw him in 1871, for signs of tuberculosis 
had been discovered in 1869, and all through the seven- 
ties and till he died, in 1883, while he was writing the 
' Short History/ the expanded Library Edition in four 
volumes, and the two brilliant monographs on 'The 
Making of England ' and ' The Conquest of England/ 
the last of which was put together from his notes, and 
finished by his devoted wife and secretary after his 
death, he was fighting for his life, in order that he might 
finish his work. He was a dying man from January 
1881, but he finished and published ' The Making of 
England ' in 1882, and began ' The Conquest of Eng- 
land/ On February 25, ten days before his death, his 
wife told him that the end was near. He thought a 
little, and said that he had still something to say in 
his book ' which is worth saying. I will make a fight 
for it. I will do what I can, and I must have sleeping 
draughts for a week. After that it will not matter if 
they lose their effect/ He worked on a little longer 
but 011 March 7 all was over. My husband had gone 




St'/ttl C /ltV/l<if</ S'ft < fl 



EARLY MABKIED LIFE H5 

out to see him in February, and came home marvelling 
at the miracle of such life in death. 

I have spoken of the wonderful stimulus and en- 
couragement he could give to the young student. But 
he was no flatterer. No one could strike harder or 
swifter than he, when he chose. 

It was to me in his eager friendship for * Humphry's ' 
young wife he first entrusted the task of that primer 
of English literature which afterwards Mr. Stopford 
Brooke carried out with such astonishing success. 
But I was far too young for such a piece of work, and 
knew far too little. I wrote a beginning, however, and 
took it up to him when he was in rooms in Beaumont 
Street. He was entirely dissatisfied with it, and as 
gently and kindly as possible told me it wouldn't do, and 
that I must give it up. 1 Then throwing it aside, he 
began to walk up and down his room, sketching out 
how such a general outline of English Literature might 
be written and should be written. I sat by enchanted, 
all my natural disappointment charmed away. The 
knowledge, the enthusiasm, the shaping power of the 
frail human being moving there before me with the 
slight emaciated figure, the great brow, the bright eyes ; 
all the physical presence, instinct, aflame, with the 
intellectual and poetic passion which grew upon him as 

1 Since writing these lines, I have been amused to discover the follow- 
ing reference in the brilliant biography of Stopford Brooke, by hia son- 
in-law, Principal Jacks, to my unlucky attempt. ' The only advantage,' 
says Mr. Brooke in his diary for May 8, 1899, ' the older writer has over 
the younger is that he knows what to leave out and has a juster sense 
of proportion. I remember that when Green wanted the Primer of 

English Literature to be done, Mra. asked if she might try her hand 

at it. He said " Yes," and she set to work. She took a fancy to 
Beowulf, and wrote twenty pages on it ! At this rate the book would 
have run to more than a thousand pages.' 



146 A WKITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

he traced the mighty stream of England's thought 
and song : it was an experience never forgotten, one 
of those by which mind teaches mind, and the endless 
succession is carried on. 

There is another memory from the early time, which 
comes back to me of J. R. G. in Notre Dame. We were 
on our honeymoon journey, and we came across him in 
Paris. We went together to Notre Dame, and there as 
we all lingered at the western end, looking up to the 
gleaming colour of the distant apse, the spirit came 
upon him. He began to describe what the Church 
Lad seen; coming down through tLe generations, 
from vision to vision. He spoke in a low voice, but 
without a pause or break, standing in deep shadow 
close to the western door. One scarcely saw him, and 
I almost lost the sense of his individuality. It seemed 
to be the very voice of History Life telling of itself. 

Liberty and the passion for liberty were the very 
breath of his life. In 1871, just after the Commune, I 
wrote him a cry of pity and horror about the execution 
of Rossel, the ' heroic young Protestant,' who had fought 
the Versaillais because they had made peace and pre- 
vented him from fighting the Prussians. J. R. G. 
replied that the only defence of a man who fought for 
the Commune was that he believed in it, which Rossel, 
by his own statment, did not. 

People like old Delescluze are more to my mind, men who 
believe, rightly or wrongly, (in the ideas of '93) and cling to 
their faith through thirteen years of the hulks and of Cayenne, 
who get their chance at last, fight, work, and then when all is 
over know how to die as Delescluze, with that grey head 
bared, and the old threadbare coat thrown open, walked 
quietly and without a word up to the fatal barricade. 

His place in the ranks of history is high and safe 



EABLY MARRIED LIFE 147 

That was abundantly shown by the testimony of the 
large gathering of English scholars and historians at 
the memorial meeting held in his own college some years 
ago. He remains as one of the leaders of that school 
(there is of course another and a strong one !) which 
holds that without imagination and personality a man 
had better not write history at all ; since no re-creation 
of the past is really possible without the kindling 
and welding force that a man draws from his own 
spirit. 

But it is as a friend that I desire with undying 
love and gratitude to commemorate him here. To 
my husband, to all the motherless family he had taken 
to his heart, he was affection and constancy itself. And 
as for me, just before the last visit that we paid him 
at Mentone in 1882, a year before he died, he was actually 
thinking out schemes for that history of early Spain 
which it seemed, both to him and me, I must at last 
begin, and was enquiring what help I could get from 
libraries on the Riviera during our stay with him. Then, 
when we came, I remember our talks in the little Villa 
St. Nicholas his sympathy, his enthusiasm, his un- 
selfish help ; while all the time he was wrestling with 
death for just a few more months in which to finish 
his own work. Both Lord Bryce and Sir Leslie Stephen 
have paid their tribute to this wonderful talk of his 
later years. ' No such talk/ says Lord Bryce, ' has 
been heard in our generation/ Of Madame de Stael 
it was said that she wrote her books out of the talk of 
the distinguished men who frequented her salon. Her 
own conversation was directed to evoking from the 
brains of others what she afterwards, as an artist, knew 
how to use better than they. Her talk small blame 
to her ! was plundering and acquisitive. But J. R. G.'s 



148 A WEITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

talk gave perpetually admirable listener though he 
was. All that he had, he gave ; so that our final thought 
of him is not that of the suffering invalid, the thwarted 
workman, the life cut short, but rather that of one who 
had richly done his part, and left in his friends* memories 
no mere pathetic appeal, but much more a bracing 
message for their own easier and longer lives. 

Of the two other historians with whom my youth 
threw me into contact, Mr. Freeman and Bishop 
Stubbs, I have some lively memories. Mr. Freeman was 
first known to me, I think, through ' Johnny/ as he was 
wont to call J. R. G. , whom he adored. Both he and 
J. R. G. were admirable letter-writers, and a small 
volume of their correspondence much of it already 
published separately if it could be put together 
like that of Flaubert and George Sand would make 
excellent reading for a future generation. In 1877 
and 1878, when I was plunged in the history of West- 
Gothic Kings, I had many letters from Mr. Freeman, 
and never were letters about grave matters less grave. 
Take this outburst about a lady who had sent him some 
historical work to look at. He greatly liked and admired 
the lady ; but her work drove him wild. ' I never saw 
anything like it for missing the point of everything. . . . 
Then she has no notion of putting a sentence together, 
so that she said some things which I fancy she did not 
mean to say as that " the beloved Queen Louisa of 
Prussia " was the mother of M. Thiers. When she said 
that the Duke of Orleans' horses ran away " leaving 
two infant sons/' it may have been so : I have no 
evidence either way.' 

Again ' I am going to send you the Spanish part 
of my Historical Geography. It will be very bad, 



EARLY MARRIED LIFE 145 

but when I don't know a thing I believe I generally 
know that I don't know it, and so manage to wrap it up 
in some vague phrase which if not right, may at least 
not be wrong. Thus I have always held that the 
nursery account of Henry VIII 

And Henry the Eighth was as fat as a pig 

is to be preferred to Froude's version. For, though 
certainly an inadequate account of the reign, it is true 
as far as it goes.' 

Once, certainly, we stayed at Somerleaze, and I retain 
the impression of a very busy, human, energetic man 
of letters, a good Churchman, and a good citizen, 
brimful of likes and dislikes, and waving his red beard 
often as a flag of battle in many a hot skirmish, especially 
with J. E. G., but always warm-hearted and general!}' 
placable except in the case of James Anthony Fro tide. 
The feud between Freeman and Froude was, of course, 
a standing dish in the educated world of half a century 
ago. It may be argued that the Muse of History has 
not decided the quarrel quite according to justice ; that 
Clio has shown herself something of a jade in the matter, 
as easily influenced by fair externals as a certain Helen 
was long ago. How many people now read the ' Nor- 
man Conquest ' except the few scholars who devote 
themselves to the same period ? Whereas Froude 's 
History, with all its sins, lives, and in my belief will 
long live, because the man who wrote it was a writer, 
and understood his art. 

Of Bishop Stubbs, the greatest historical name surely 
in the England of the last half of the nineteenth century, 
I did not personally see much while we lived in Oxford 
and he was Regius Professor. He had no gifts it was 
his chief weakness as a teacher for creating a young 



150 A WEITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

school around him, setting one man to work on this 
job, and another on that, as has been done with great 
success in many instances abroad. He was too re- 
served, too critical, perhaps too sensitive. But he 
stood as a great influence in the background, felt if 
not seen. A word of praise from him meant every- 
thing ; a word of condemnation, in his own subjects, 
settled the matter. I remember well, after I had written 
a number of articles on early Spanish Kings and Bishops, 
for a historical Dictionary, and they were already in 
proof, how on my daily visits to the Bodleian I began to 
be puzzled by the fact that some of the very obscure 
books I had been using were ' out ' when I wanted them, 
or had been abstracted from my table by one of the sub- 
librarians. ' Joannes Biclarensis ' he was missing ! 
Who in the world could want that obscure chronicle 
of an obscure period but myself ? I began to envisage 
some hungry German Privatdozent, on his holiday, 
raiding my poor little subject, and my books, with a 
view to his Doctor's thesis. Then one morning, as I 
went in, I came across Dr. Stubbs, with an ancient and 
portly volume under his arm. Joannes Biclarensis 
himself ! I knew it at once. The Professor gave me 
a friendly nod, and I saw a twinkle in his eye as we 
passed. Going to my desk, I found another volume 
gone this time the ' Acts of the Councils of Toledo/ 
So far as I knew, not the most ardent Churchman in 
Oxford felt at that time any absorbing interest in the 
Councils of Toledo. At any rate, I had been left in 
undisturbed possession of them for months. Evidently 
something was happening, and I sat down to my work 
in bewilderment. 

Then, on my way home, I ran into a fellow-worker 



EAELY MABRIED LIFE 151 

for the Dictionary a well-known don, and history 
tutor. ' Do you know what's happened ? ' he said 
in excitement : ' Stubbs has been going through our 
work ! The Editor wanted his imprimatur before the 
final printing. Can't expect anybody but Stubbs to 
know all these things ! My books are gone too/ We 
walked up to the Parks together in a common anxiety, 
like a couple of schoolboys in for Smalls. Then in a 
few days the tension was over ; my books were on my 
desk again ; the Professor stopped me in the Broad 
with a smile, and the remark that Joannes Biclarensis 
was really quite an interesting fellow and I received a 
very friendly letter from the Editor of the Dictionary. 
And, perhaps, I may be allowed, after these forty 
years, one more recollection, though I am afraid a proper 
reticence would suppress it ! A little later, ' Mr. Creigh- 
ton ' came to visit us, after his immigration to Embleton 
and the north ; and I timidly gave him some lives of 
West Gothic Kings and Bishops to read. He read them 
they were very long, and terribly minute and put 
down the proofs, without saying much. Then he 
walked down to Oxford with my husband, and sent 
me back a message by him ' Tell M. to go on. There 
is nobody but Stubbs doing such work in Oxford now/ 
The impulse given by such words may be imagined. 
But there were already causes at work why I should 
not * go on/ 

I shall have more to say presently about the work 
on the origins of modern Spain. It was the only thorough 
' discipline ' I ever had ; it lasted about two years 
years of incessant, arduous work, and it led directly to 
the writing of ' Robert Elsmere/ But before and after, 



152 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

how full life was of other things ! The joys of one's new 
home, of the children that began to patter about it, of 
every bit of furniture and blue pot it contained, each 
representing some happy chasse or special earning of 
its garden of half an acre, where I used to feel as 
Hawthorne felt in the garden of the Concord Manse- 
amazement that Nature should take the trouble to 
produce things as big as vegetable marrows, or as 
surprising as scarlet runners that topped one's head, 
just that we might own and eat them. Then the life 
of the University town, with all those marked anta- 
gonisms I have described, those intellectual and religious 
movements, that were like the meeting currents of 
rivers in a lake ; and the pleasure of new friendships, 
where everybody was equal, nobody was rich, and the 
intellectual average was naturally h ; gh. In those days 
too, a small group of women of whom I was one, were 
laying the foundations of the whole system of women's 
education in Oxford. Mrs. Creighton and I, with Mrs. 
Max Muller, were the secretaries and founders of the 
first organised series of lectures for women in the 
University town ; I was the first secretary of Somer- 
ville Hall, and it fell to me, by chance, to suggest the 
name of the future college. My friends and I were all 
on fire for women's education, includirg women's 
medical education, and very emulous of Cambridge, 
where the movement was already far advanced. 

But hardly any of us were at all on fire for woman 
suffrage, wherein the Oxford educational movement 
differed greatly from the Cambridge movement. The 
majority, certainly, of the group to which I belonged 
at Oxford were at that time persuaded that the develop- 
ment of women's power in the State or rather, in 



EAELY MAKRIED LIFE 158 

such a state as England, with its far-reaching and 
Imperial obligations, resting ultimately on the sanction 
of war should be on lines of its own. We believed 
that growth through Local Government, and per- 
haps through some special machinery for bringing 
the wishes and influence of women of all classes to 
bear on Parliament, other than the Parliamentary vote, 
was the real line of progress. However, I shall return 
to this subject on some future occasion, in connection 
with the intensified suffragist campaign which began 
about ten years ago (1907-8) and in which I took some 
part. I will only note here my first acquaintance with 
Mrs. Fawcett. I see her so clearly as a fresh picturesque 
figure in a green silk dress, and a necklace of amber 
beads, when she came down to Oxford in the mid- 
seventies to give a course of lectures in the series that 
Mrs. Creighton and I were organising, and I remember 
well the atmosphere of sympathy and admiration 
which surrounded her, as she spoke to an audience in 
which many of us were well acquainted with the heroic 
story of Mr. Fawcett 's blindness, and of the part played 
by his wife in enabling him to continue his economic 
and Parliamentary work. 

But life then was not all lectures ! nor was it all 
Oxford. There were vacations, and vacations generally 
meant for us some weeks at least of travel, even when 
pence were fewest. The Christmas vacation of 1874 
we were in Paris. The weather was bitter, and we were 
lodged, for cheapness* sake, in an old-fashioned hotel, 
where the high-canopied beds with their mountainous 
duvets were very difficult to wake up in on a cold 
morning. But in spite of snow and sleet we filled our 
days to the brim. We took with us some introductions 



154 A WBITEK'S EECOLLECTIONS 

from Oxford to Madame Mohl, the Kenans, the Gaston 
Paris, the Boutmys, the Bibots, and from my Uncle 
Matthew, to the Scherers at Versailles. Monsieur Taine 
was already known to us, and it was at their house, on 
one of Madame Taine 's Thursdays, that I first heard 
French conversation at its best. There was a young 
man there, dark-eyed, dark-haired, to whom I listened 
not always able to follow the rapid French in which he 
and two other men were discussing some literary matter 
of the moment, but conscious, for the first time, of 
what the conversation of intellectual equals might be, 
if it were always practised as the French are trained to 
practise it from their mother's milk, by the influence 
of a long tradition. The young man was M. Paul 
Bourget, whose literary career had then hardly beg m, 
and whose temper of mind was as yet rat' er that 
of a disciple of M. Taine than that of the Catholic 
protagonist he was afterwards to become. M. Bourget 
did not then speak English, and my French conversa- 
tion, which had been wholly learnt from books, had a 
way at that time and alack, has still of breaking down 
under me, just as one reached the thing one really wanted 
to say. So that I did not attempt to do more than 
listen. But I seem to remember that those with whom 
he talked were M. Francis Charmes, then a writer on the 
staff of the Debats, and afterwards the editor of the 
Revue des deux Mondes in succession to M. Brunetiere ; 
and M. Gaston Paris, the brilliant head of French 
philology at the College de France. What struck me 
then, and through all the new experiences, and new 
acquaintanceships of our Christmas fortnight, was that 
strenuous and passionate intensity of the French temper, 



EAKLY MAEEIED LIFE 165 

which foreign nations so easily lose sight of, but which, 
in truth, is as much part of the French nature as their 
gaiety, or as what seems to us their frivolity. The 
war of 1870, the Commune, were but three years behind 
them. Germany had torn from them Alsace-Lorraine ; 
she had occupied Paris ; and their own Jacobins had 
ruined and burnt what even Germany had spared. 
In the minds of the intellectual class there lay deep, on 
the one hand, a determination to rebuild France, on 
the other to avenge her defeat. The blackened ruins 
of the Tuileries and of the Cour des Comptes still dis- 
figured a city which grimly kept them there as a warn- 
ing against anarchy ; while the statue of the Ville de 
Strasbourg in the Place de la Concorde had worn for 
three years the funeral garlands, which, as France 
confidently hopes from the peace that must end this war, 
will soon, after nearly half a century, give way to 
the rejoicing tricolour. At the same time reconstruc- 
tion was everywhere beginning especially in the field 
of education. The corrupt, political influence of the 
Empire, which had used the whole educational system 
of the country for the purpose of keeping itself and its 
supporters in power, was at an end. The reorganised 
' Ecole Normale ' was becoming a source of moral and 
mental strength among thousands of young men and 
women ; and the ' IScole des Sciences politiques/ the 
joint work of Taine, Renan, and M. Boutmy, its first 
director, was laying foundations, whereof the results 
are to be seen conspicuously to-day, in French character, 
French resource, French patience, French science, as 
this hideous war has revealed them. 

I remember an illuminating talk with M. Renan him- 



156 A WRITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

self on this subject during our visit. We had never 
yet seen him. and we carried an introduction to him 
from Max Miiller, our neighbour and friend in Oxford. 
We found him alone, in a small working room crowded 
with books, at the College de France. Madame Renan 
was away, and he had abandoned his large library 
for something more easily warmed. My first sight of 
him was something of a shock of the large ungainly 
figure, the genial face, with its spreading cheeks and 
humorous eyes, the big head, with its scanty locks of 
hair. I think he felt an amused and kindly interest in 
the two young folk from Oxford, who had come as 
pilgrims to his shrine, and realising that our French was 
not fluent and our shyness great, he filled up the time 
and the gaps by a monologue, lit up by many touches 
of Renanesque humour, on the situation in France. 

First, as to literature ' No we have no genius, no 
poets or writers of the first rank just now at least so 
it seems to me. But we work nous travaillons beau- 
coup ! Ce sera notre salut. ' It was the same as to 
politics. He had no irusions and few admirations. 
' The Chamber is full of mediocrities. We are governed, 
by avocats and pharmaciens. But at least Us ne feront 
pas la guerre ! ' 

He smiled, but there was that in the smile and the 
gesture which showed the smart within ; from which 
not even his scholar's philosophy, with its ideal of a 
world of cosmopolitan science, could protect him. At 
that moment he was inclined to despair of his country. 
The mad adventure of the Commune had gone deep 
into his soul ; and there were still a good many pacifying 
years to run, before he could talk of his life as ' cette 
charmante promenade a travers la realite ' for which, 



EARLY MARRIED LIFE 157 

with all it had contained of bad and good, he yet thanked 
the Gods. At that time he was fifty-one ; he had 
just published ' L* Antichrist,' the most brilliant of all 
the volumes of the ' Origines ' ; and he was not yet a 
member of the French Academy. 

I turn to a few other impressions from that distant 
time. One night we were in the ' Theatre Fran9ais/ 
and Racine's ' Phedre ' was to be given. I at least 
had never been in the Maison de Moliere before, and 
in such matters as acting, I possessed, at twenty-three, 
only a very raw and country-cousinish judgment. There 
had been a certain amount of talk in Oxford of a new 
and remarkable French actress, but neither of us had 
really any idea of what was before us. Then the play 
began. And before the first act was over, we were 
sitting bent forward, gazing at the stage in an intense 
and concentrated excitement, such as I can scarcely 
remember ever feeling again, except perhaps when the 
same actress played ' Hernani * in London for the first 
time in 1884. Sarah Bernhardt was then December 
1874 in the first full tide of her success. She was of 
a ghostly and willowy slenderness. Each of the great 
speeches seemed actually to rend the delicate frame. 
When she fell back after one of them, you felt an actual 
physical terror lest there should not be enough life 
left in the slight dying woman to let her speak again. 
And you craved for yet more and more of the voix d'or 
which rang in one's ears as the frail yet exquisite 
instrument of a mighty music. Never before had it 
been brought home to me what dramatic art might be, 
or the power of the French Alexandrine. And never 
did I come so near quarrelling with ' Uncle Matt/ as 
when, on our return, after having heard my say about 



158 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

the genius of Sarah Bernhardt, he patted my hand 
indulgently with the remark ' But, my dear child 
you see you never saw Rachel ! ' 

As we listened to Sarah Bernhardt, we were watching 
the outset of a great career which had still some forty 
years to run. On another evening we made acquaint- 
ance with a little old woman who had been born in 
the first year of the Terror, who had spent her first 
youth in the salon of Madame Recamier, valued there, 
above all, for her difficult success in drawing a smile 
from that old and melancholy genius, Chateaubriand ; 
and had since held a salon of her own, which deserves a 
special place in the history of salons. For it was held, 
according to the French tradition, and in Paris, by an 
Englishwoman. It was, I think, Max Muller, who gave 
us an introduction to Madame Mohl. She sent us an 
invitation to one of her Friday evenings, and we duly 
mounted to the top of the old house in the Rue du Bac, 
which she made famous for so long. As we entered 
the room I saw a small dishevelled figure, grey-headed, 
crouching beside a grate with a kettle in her hand. It 
was Madame Mohl then eighty-one who was trying 
to make the fire burn. She just raised herself to greet 
us, with a swift investigating glance ; and then returned 
to her task of making the tea, in which I endeavoured 
to help her. But she did not like to be helped ; and I 
soon subsided into my usual listening and watching, 
which, perhaps, for one who at that time was singularly 
immature in all social respects, was the best policy. 
I seem still to see the tall substantial form of Julius 
Mohl standing behind her, with various other elderly 
men, who were no doubt famous folk, if one had known 



EAELY MARRIED LIFE 159 

their names. And in the corner was the Spartan tea- 
table, with its few biscuits, which stood for the plain 
living whereon was nourished the high thinking and 
high talking which had passed through these rooms. 
Guizot, Cousin, Ampere, Fauriel, Mignet, Lamartine, 
all the great men of the middle century had talked 
there ; not in general the poets and the artists, 
but the politicians, the historians, and the savants. The 
little Fairy Blackstick, incredibly old, kneeling on the 
floor, with the shabby dress and touzled grey hair, had 
made a part of the central scene in France, through the 
Revolution, the reign of the Citizen king, and the 
Second Empire playing the role, through it all, of a 
good friend of freedom. If only one had heard her talk ! 
But there were few people in the room, and we were none 
of us inspired. I must sadly put down that Friday 
evening among the lost opportunities of life. For 
Mrs. Simpson's biography of Madame Mohl shows what 
a wealth of wit and memory there was in that small 
head ! Her social sense, her humour, never deserted her, 
though she lived to be ninety. When she was dying 
her favourite cat, a torn, leaped on her bed. Her eyes 
lit up as she feebly stroked him. ' He is so distin- 
guished ! ' she whispered. ' But his wife is not dis- 
tinguished at all. He doesn't know it. But many 
men are like that.' It was one of the last sayings of an 
expert in the human scene. 

Madame Mohl was twenty-one when the Allies en- 
tered Paris in 1814. She had lived with those to whom 
the fall of the ' Ancien Regime,' the Terror, and the 
Revolutionary wars had been the experience of middle 
life. As I look back to the salon in the Rue du Bac, 



160 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

which I saw in a such a flash, yet where my hand rested 
for a moment in that of Madame Recamier's pet and 
protegee, I am reminded too that I once saw, at the 
Forsters, in 1869, when I was eighteen, the Dr. Lushing- 
ton who was Lady Byron's adviser and confidant when 
she left her husband, and who, as a young man, had 
stayed with Pitt, and ridden out with Lady Hester 
Stanhope. One night, in Eccleston Square, we assembled 
for dinner in the ground floor library instead of the 
drawing-room, which was upstairs. I slipped in late, 
and saw in an arm-chair, his hands resting on a stick, 
an old, white-haired man. When dinner was announced 
if I remember right he was wheeled in to the dining- 
room, to a place beside my aunt. I was too far away 
to hear him talk, and he went home after dinner. But 
it was one of the guests of the evening, a friend of his, 
who said to me with a kindly wish, no doubt, to thrill 
the girl just ' out ' ' You ought to remember Dr. 
Lushington ! What are you ? eighteen ? and he is 
eighty-six. He was in the theatre on the night when 
the news reached London of Marie Antoinette's execu- 
tion, and he can remember, though he was only a boy 
of eleven, how it was given out from the stage, and how 
the audience instantly broke up.' 

Dr. Lushington, of course, carries one further back 
than Madame Mohl. He was born in 1782, four years 
after the deaths of Rousseau and Voltaire, two years 
before the death of Diderot. He was only six years 
younger than Lady Hester Stanhope, whose acquaint- 
ance he made during the three years 1803-1806 
when she was keeping house for her uncle, William Pitt. 

But on my right hand at the same dinner party there 



EARLY MARRIED LIFE 161 

sat a guest who was to mean a good deal more to me 
personally than Dr. Lushington young Mr. George 
Otto Trevelyan, as he then was, Lord Macaulay's 
nephew, and already the brilliant author of ' A Competi- 
tion Wallah/ ' Ladies in Parliament/ and much else. 
We little thought, as we talked, that after thirty-five 
years, his son was to marry my daughter. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE BEGINNINGS OF ' ROBERT ELSMERE ' 

IF these are to be the recollections of a writer, in which 
perhaps other writers by profession, as well as the more 
general public, may take some interest, I shall perhaps 
be forgiven if I give some account of the processes of 
thought and work which led to the writing of my first 
successful novel ' Robert Elsmere/ 

It was in 1878 that a new editor was appointed for 
one of the huge well-known volumes, in which, under 
the aegis of the John Murray of the day, the nineteenth 
centu y was accustomed to concentrate its knowledge 
classical, historical, and theological in convenient, 
if not exactly handy form. Dr. Wace, now Dean 
of Canterbury, was then an indefatigable member of 
the Times staff. Yet he undertook this extra work, 
and carried it bravely through. He came to Oxford 
to beat up recruits for Smith's ' Dictionary of Christian 
Biography/ a companion volume to that of ' Classical 
Biography/ and dealing with the first seven centuries 
of Christianity. He had been told that I had been 
busying myself with early Spain, and he came to me 
to ask whether I would take the Spanish lives for the 
period, especially those concerned with the West- 

182 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ' EGBERT ELSMERE ' 163 

Goths in Spain ; while at the same time he applied to 
various Oxford historians for work on the Ostrogoths 
and the Franks. 

I was much tempted, but I had a good deal to 
consider. The French and Spanish reading it involved 
was no difficulty. But the power of reading Latin 
rapidly, both the degraded Latin of the fifth and sixth 
centuries, and the learned Latin of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth was essential ; and I had only learnt some 
Latin since my marriage, and was by no means at home 
in it. I had long since found out too, in working at 
the Spanish literature of the eleventh to the fourteenth 
century, that the only critics and researchers worth 
following in that field were German ; and though I 
had been fairly well grounded in German at school, and 
had read a certain amount, the prospect of a piece of 
work which meant, in the main, Latin texts and German 
commentaries, was rather daunting. The well-trained 
woman student of the present day would have felt 
probably no such qualms. But I had not been well 
trained ; and the Pattison standards of what work 
should be stood like dragons in the way. 

However I took the plunge, and I have always been 
grateful to Dean Wace. The sheer, hard, brain- 
stretching work of the two or three years which followed 
I look back to now with delight. It altered my whole 
outlook, and gave me horizons and sympathies that I 
have never lost, however dim all the positive knowledge 
brought me by the work has long since become. The 
strange thing was that out of the work which seemed 
both to myself and others to mark the abandonment of 
any foolish hopes of novel writing I might have cherished 
as a girl, ' Robert Elsmere ' should have arisen. For 



164 A. WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

after my marriage I had made various attempts to 
write fiction. They were clearly failures. J. R. G. 
dealt very faithfully with me on the subject ; and 
I could only conclude that the instinct to tell stories 
which had been so strong in me as a child and girl, 
meant nothing, and was to be suppressed. I did indeed 
write a story for my children, which came out in 1880 
' Milly and Oily ' ; but that wrote itself and was a 
mere transcript of their little lives. 

And yet I venture to think it was, after all, the 
instinct for ' making out/ as the Brontes used to call 
their own wonderful story-telling passion, which ren- 
dered this historical work so enthralling to me. Those 
far-off centuries became veritably alive to me the 
Arian kings fighting an ever-losing battle against the 
ever-encroaching power of the Catholic Church, backed 
by the still lingering and still potent ghost of the Roman 
Empire ; the Catholic Bishops gathering, sometimes 
through winter snow, to their Councils at Seville and 
Toledo ; the centres of culture in remote corners of the 
peninsula, where men lived with books and holy things, 
shrinking from the wild life around them, and handing 
on the precious remnants and broken traditions of the 
older classical world ; the mutual scorn of Goth and 
Roman ; martyrs, fanatics, heretics, nationalists and 
cosmopolitans ; and, rising upon, enveloping them all, 
as the seventh and eighth centuries drew on, the tide 
of Islam, and the menace of that time when the great 
church of Cordova should be half a mosque and half a 
Christian cathedral. 

I lived, indeed, in that old Spain, while I was at 
work in the Bodleian and at home. To spend hours and 
days over the signatures to an obscure Council, identify- 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ' KOBEKT ELSMERE ' 165 

ing each name so far as the existing materials allowed, 
and attaching to it some fragment of human interest, 
so that gradually somethirg of a picture emerged, 
as of a thing lost and recovered dredged up from the 
deeps of time that, I think, was the joy of it all. 

I see, in memory, the small Oxford room, as it was 
on a winter evening, between nine and midnight, my 
husband in one corner preparing his college lectures, 
or writing a ' Saturday ' ' middle ' ; my books and I 
in another ; the reading-lamp, always to me a symbol 
of peace and ' recollection ' ; the Oxford quiet outside. 
And yet, it was not so tranquil as it looked. For 
beating round us all the time were the spiritual winds 
of an agitated day. The Oxford of thought was not 
quiet ; it was divided, as I have shown, by sharper 
antagonisms and deeper feuds than exist to-day. 
Darwinism was penetrating everywhere ; Pusey was 
preaching against its effects on belief ; Balliol stood 
for an unfettered history and criticism, Christ Church 
for authority and creeds ; Kenan's ' Origines ' were still 
coming out, Strauss's last book also ; my uncle was 
publishing ' God and the Bible ' in succession to ' Litera- 
ture and Dogma ' ; and ' Supernatural Religion ' was 
making no small stir. And meanwhile what began to 
interest and absorb me were sources testimony. To 
what to whom did it all go back ? this great story 
of early civilisation, early religion, which modern men 
could write and interpret so differently ? 

And on this question, the writers and historians of 
four early centuries, from the fifth to the ninth, as I 
lived with them, seemed to throw a partial, but yet 
a searching light. I have expressed it in ' Robert 
Elsmere.' Langham and Robert, talking in the Squire's 



166 A WBITEK'S RECOLLECTIONS 

library on Robert's plans for a history of Gaul during 
the breakdown of the Empire and the emergence of 
modern France, come to the vital question : ' History 
depends on testimony. What is the nature and virtue 
of testimony at given times ? In other words, did the 
man of the third century understand, or report, or 
interpret facts in the same way as the man of the six- 
teenth or the nineteenth ? And if not, what are the 
differences ? and what are the deductions to be made 
from them ? 

Robert replies that his work has not yet dug deep 
enough to make him answer the question. 

' It is enormously important, I grant enormously,' 
be repeated reflectively. 

On which Langham says to himself, though not to 
Elsmere, that the whole of ' orthodoxy ' is in it, and 
depends on it. 

And in a later passage, when Elsmere is mastering 
the ' Quellen ' of his subject, he expresses himself with 
bewilderment to Catherine on this same subject of 
' testimony/ He is immersed in the chronicles and 
biographies of the fifth and sixth centuries. Every 
history, every biography is steeped in marvel. A man 
divided by only a few years from the bishop or saint 
whose life he is writing, reports the most fantastic 
miracles. What is the psychology of it all ? The whole 
age seems to Robert ' non-sane. ' And, meanwhile, 
across and beyond the mediaeval centuries, behind 
the Christian era itself, the modern student looks 
back inevitably, involuntarily, to certain Greeks and 
certain Latins, who ' represent a forward strain/ 
who intellectually * belong to a world ahead of 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ' BOBEBT ELSMEBE ' 167 

them/ ' You he says to them ' you are really my 
kindred/ 

That, after all, I tried to express this intellectual 
experience which was of course an experience of my 
own not in critical or historical work, but in a novel, 
that is to say in terms of human life, was the result of 
an incident which occurred towards the close of our 
lives in Oxford. It was not long after the appearance 
of ' Supernatural Religion/ and the rise of that newer 
school of Biblical criticism in Germany expressed by 
the once honoured name of Dr. Harnack. Darwinian 
debate in the realm of natural science was practically 
over. The spread of evolutionary ideas in the fields of 
history and criticism was the real point of interest. 
Accordingly, the University pulpit was. often filled by 
men endeavouring ' to fit a not very exacting science 
to a very grudging orthodoxy ' ; and the heat of an 
ever-strengthening controversy was in the Oxford air. 

In 1881, as it happened, the Bampton Lectures were 
preached by the Rev. John Wordsworth, then Fellow 
and Tutor of Brasenose, and, later, Bishop of Salisbury. 
He and my husband who, before our marriage, was 
also a Fellow of Brasenose were still tutorial colleagues, 
and I therefore knew him personally, and his first 
wife, the brilliant daughter of the beloved Bodley's 
Librarian of my day, Mr. Coxe. We naturally attended 
Mr. Wordsworth's first Bampton. He belonged, very 
strongly, to what I have called the Christ Church camp ; 
while we belonged, very strongly, to the Balliol camp. 
But no one could fail to respect John Wordsworth 
deeply ; while his connection with his great-uncle, 
the poet, to whom he bore a strong personal likeness, 



168 A WBIIEB'S BECOLLECTIONS 

gave him always a glamour in my eyes. Still I re- 
member going with a certain shrinking ; and it was the 
shock of indignation excited in me by the sermon which 
led directly though after seven intervening years to 
' Kobert Elsmere/ 

The sermon was on ' The present unsettlement in 
religion ' ; and it connected the ' unsettlement ' definitely 
with 'sin/ The 'moral causes of unbelief/ said the 
preacher, ' were (1) prejudice ; (2) severe claims of 
religion ; (3) intellectual faults, especially indolence, 
coldness, recklessness, pride and avarice/ 

The sermon expounded and developed this outline 
with great vigour, and every sceptical head received 
its due buffeting in a tone and fashion that now scarcely 
survives. I sat in the darkness under the gallery. The 
preacher's fine ascetic face was plainly visible in the 
middle light of the church ; and while the confident 
priestly voice flowed on, I seemed to see, grouped around 
the speaker, the forms of those, his colleagues and 
contemporaries, the patient scholars and thinkers 
of the Liberal host, Stanley, Jowett, Green of Balliol, 
Lewis Nettleship, Henry Sidgwick, my uncle, whom he in 
truth though perhaps not consciously was attacking. 
My heart was hot within me. How could one show 
England what was really going on in her midst ? Surely 
the only way was through imagination ; through a 
picture of actual life and conduct ; through something 
as ' simple, sensuous, passionate ' as one could make 
it. Who and what were the persons of whom the 
preacher gave this grotesque account ? What was their 
history ? How had their thoughts and doubts come to 
be ? What was the effect of them on conduct ? 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ' EGBERT ELSMERE ' 169 

The immediate result of the sermon however was a 
pamphlet called ' Unbelief and Sin : a Protest addressed 
to those who attended the Bampton Lecture of Sunday, 
March 6th/ It was rapidly written and printed, and 
was put up in the windows of a well-known shop in the 
High Street. In the few hours of its public career, it 
enjoyed a very lively sale. Then an incident quite 
unforeseen by its author slit its little life ! A well- 
known clergyman walked into the shop and asked for 
the pamphlet. He turned it over, and at once pointed 
out to one of the partners of the firm in the shop that 
there was no printer's name upon it. The booksellers 
who had produced the pamphlet, no doubt with an eye 
to their large clerical clientele, had omitted the printer's 
name, and the omission was illegal. Pains and penalties 
were threatened, and the frightened booksellers at 
once withdrew the pamphlet, and sent word of what 
had happened to my much astonished self, who had 
neither noticed the omission, nor was aware of the law. 
But Dr. Foulkes, the clergyman in question no one 
that knew the Oxford of my day will have forgotten his 
tall militant figure, with the defiant white hair, and the 
long clerical coat, as it haunted the streets of the 
University ! had only stimulated the tare he seemed 
to have rooted up. For the pamphlet thus easily 
suppressed was really the germ of the later book ; ii) 
that, without attempting direct argument, it merely 
sketched two types of character : the character that 
either knows no doubts or has suppressed them, and 
the character that fights its stormy way to truth. 

The latter was the first sketch of ' Robert Els- 
mere/ That same evening, at a College party, 

M 



170 A WBITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Professor Green came up to me. I had sent him the 
pamphlet the night before, and had not yet had a word 
from him. His kind brown eyes smiled upon me as he 
said a hearty ' thank you/ adding ' a capital piece of 
work/ or something to that effect ; after which my 
spirits were quite equal to telling him the story of Dr. 
Foulkes' raid. 



The year 1880-81, however, was marked for me by 
three other events of quite a different kind : Monsieur 
Kenan's visit to Oxford, my husband's acceptance of 
a post on the staff of the Times, and a visit that we 
paid to the W. E. Forsters in Ireland, in December 
1880, at almost the blackest moment of the Irish 
land-war. 

Of Kenan's visit I have mingled memories all 
pleasant, but some touched with comedy. Gentle 
Madame Renan came with her famous husband and 
soon won all hearts. Oxford in mid- April was then, 
as always, a dream of gardens just comirg into leaf, 
enchasing buildings of a silvery grey, and full to the 
brim of the old walls with the early blossom almond, 
or cherry, or flowering currant. M. Renan was deliver- 
ing the Hibbert Lectures in London, and came down to 
stay for a long week-end with our neighbours, the Max 
Mullers. Dr. Hatch was then preaching the Bampton 
Lectures, that first admirable series of his on the debt 
of the Church to Latin organisation, and M. Renan 
attended one of them. He had himself just published 
' Marc Aurele/ and Dr. Hatch's subject was closely 
akin to that of his own Hibbert Lectures. I remember 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ' KOBEBT ELSMEBE ' 171 

seeing him emerge from the porch of St. Mary's, his 
strange triangular face pleasantly dreamy. ' You were 
interested ? ' said some one at his elbow. ' Mais oui ! ' 
said M. Renan, smiling, ' he might have given my lecture, 
and I might have preached his sermon ! (Nous aurions 
du changer de cahiers /) ' Renan in the pulpit of Pusey, 
Newman, and Burgon, would indeed have been a spec- 
tacle of horror to the ecclesiastical mind. I remember 
once, many years after, following the parroco of Castel 
Gandolfo, through the dreary and deserted rooms of the 
Papal villa, where, before 1870, the Popes used to make 
villegiatura, on that beautiful ridge overlooking the 
Alban lake. All the decoration of the villa seemed to me 
curiously tawdry and mean. But suddenly my atten- 
tion was arrested by a great fresco covering an entire 
wall. It represented the triumph of the Papacy over 
the infidel of all dates. A Pope sat enthroned, wearing 
the triple crown, with angels hovering overhead ; and 
in a huge brazier at his feet, burnt the writings of the 
world's heretics. The blazing volumes were inscribed 
Arius Luther Voltaire Renan ! 

We passed on through the empty rooms, and the 
parroco locked the door behind us. I thought, as we 
walked away, of the summer light fading from the 
childish picture, painted probably not long before the 
entry of the Italian troops into Rome, and of all that 
was symbolised by it and the deserted villa, to which 
the ' prisoner of the Vatican ' no longer returns. But 
at least Rome had given Ernest Renan no mean place 
amorg her enemies Arius, Luther, Voltaire Renan \ 

But in truth, Renan, personally, was not the enemy 
of any church, least of all of the great Church which 




172 A WBITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

had trained his youth. He was a born scholar and 
thinker, in temper extremely gentle and scrupulous, 
and with a sense of humour, or rather irony, not unlike 
that of Anatole France, who has learnt much from him. 
There was of course a streak in him of that French 
paradox, that impish trifling with things fundamental, 
which the English temperament dislikes and resents ; 
as when he wrote the ' Abbesse de Jouarre/ or threw 
out the whimsical doubt in a passing sentence of one of 
his latest books, whether, after all, his life of labour 
and self-denial had been worth while, and whether, if 
he had lived the life of an Epicurean, like Theophile 
Gautier, he might not have got more out of existence. 
1 He was really a good and great man/ said Jowett, 
writing after his death. But ' I regret that he wrote 
at the end of his life that strange drama about the 
"Reign of Terror/ 

There are probably few of M. Kenan's English ad- 
mirers who do not share the regret. At the same time, 
there, for all to see, is the long life as it was lived of the 
ever-toiling scholar and thinker, the devoted husband 
and brother, the admirable friend. And certainly, 
during the Oxford visit I remember, M. Kenan was at 
his best. He was in love apparently ! with Oxford, 
and his charm, his gaiety played over all that we pre- 
sented to him. I recall him in Wadham Gardens, wan- 
dering in a kind of happy dream ' Ah, if one had only 
such places as this to work in, in France ! What pages 
and how perfect ! one might write here ! ' Or again, 
in a different scene, at luncheon in our little house in 
the Parks, when Oxford was showing, even more than 
usual, its piteous inability to talk decently to the great 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ' EGBERT ELSMEEE ' 178 

man in his ovv-n tongue. It is true that he neither 
understood ours in conversation nor spoke a word 
of it. But that did not at all mitigate our own shame 
and surprise ! For at that time, in the Oxford world 
proper, everybody, probably, read French habitually, 
and many of us thought we spoke it. But a mocking 
spirit suggested to one of the guests at this luncheon 
party an energetic historical tutor the wish to en- 
lighten M. Renan as to how the University was gov- 
erned, the intricacies of Convocation, and Congregation, 
the Hebdomadal Council, and all the rest. The other 
persons present fell at first breathlessly silent, watch- 
ing the gallant but quite hopeless adventure. Then, 
in sheer sympathy with a good man in trouble, one after 
another, we rushed in to help, till the constitution of the 
University must have seemed indeed a thing of Bedlam 
to our smiling but much puzzled guest ; and all our 
cheeks were red. But M. Eenan cut the knot. Since 
he could not understand, and we could not explain, 
what the constitution of Oxford University was, he 
suavely took up his parable as to what it should be. He 
drew the ideal University, as it were, in the clouds ; 
clothing his notion, as he went on, in so much fun and 
so much charm, that his English hosts more than forgot 
their own defeat in his success. The little scene has 
always remained with me as a crowning instance of the 
French genius for conversation. Throw what obstacles 
in the way you please ; it will surmount them all. 

To judge however from M. Kenan's letter to his 
friend, M. Berthelot, written from Oxford on this 
occasion, he was not as much pleased as we thought he 
was, or as we were with him. He says : ' Oxford is the 






174 A WKITEB'S EECOLLECTIONS 

strangest relic of the past, the type of living death. 
Each of its colleges is a terrestrial paradise, but a de- 
serted Paradise/ (I see from the date that the visit 
took place in the Easter vacation !) And he describes 
the education given as ' purely humanist and clerical/ 
administered to ' a gilded youth that comes to chapel 
in surplices. There is an almost total absence of the 
scientific spirit/ And the letter further contains a 
mild gibe at All Souls, for its absentee Fellows. ' The 
lawns are admirable, and the Fellows eat up the college 
revenues, hunting and shooting up and down England. 
Only one of them works my kind host, Max Miiller/ 

At that moment the list of the Fellows of All Souls 
contained the names of men who have since rendered 
high service to England ; and M. Renan was probably 
not aware that the drastic reforms introduced by the two 
great University Commissions of 1854 and 1877 had made 
the sarcastic picture he drew for his friend not a little 
absurd. No doubt a French intellectual will always 
feel that the mind-life of England is running at a slower 
pace than that of his own country. But if Renan had 
worked for a year in Oxford, the old priestly training 
in him, based so solidly on the moral discipline of St. 
Nicholas and St. Sulpice, would have become aware 
of much els 3. I like to think that he would have 
echoed the verdict on the Oxford undergraduate of 
a young and brilliant Frenchman, who spent much 
time at Oxford, fifteen years later. ' There is no intel- 
lectual elite here so strong as ours (i.e. among French 
students)/ says M. Jacques Bardoux ' but they un- 
doubtedly have a political elite, and a much rarer 
thing, a moral elite. . . . What an environment ! 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ' EGBERT ELSMEBE ' 176 

and how full is this education of moral stimulus and 
force ! ' 

Has not every word of this been justified to the letter 
by the experience of the war ? 

After the present cataclysm, we know very well that 
we shall have to improve and extend our higher educa- 
tion. Only, in building up the new, let us not lose 
grip upon the irreplaceable things of the old ! 

It was not long after M. Kenan's visit that, just as 
we were starting for a walk on a May afternoon, the 
second post brought my husband a letter which changed 
our lives. It contained a suggestion that my husband 
should take work on the Times as a member of the 
editorial staff. We read it in amazement, and walked 
on to Port Meadow. It was a fine day. The river was 
alive with boats ; in the distance rose the towers and 
domes of the beautiful city ; and the Oxford magic 
blew about us in the summer wind. It seemed im- 
possible to leave the dear Oxford life ! All the draw- 
backs and difficulties of the new proposal presented 
themselves ; hardly any of the advantages. As for me, 
I was convinced we must and should refuse, and I went 
to sleep in that conviction. 

But the mind travels far and mysteriously 
in sleep. With the first words that my husband and I 
exchanged in the morning, we knew that the die 
was cast, and that our Oxford days were over. 

The rest of the year was spent in preparation 
for the change ; and in the Christmas vacation of 
1880-81 my husband wrote his first ' leaders ' for the 
paper. But before that we went for a week to Dublin 



176 A WKITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

to stay with the Forsters, at the Chief Secretary's 
Lodge. 

A visit I shall never forget ! It was the first of the 
two terrible winters my uncle spent in Dublin as Chief 
Secretary, and the struggle with the Land League was 
at its height. Boycotting, murder and outrage filled 
the news of every day. Owing to the refusal of the 
Liberal Government to renew the Peace Preservation 
Act when they took office in 1880 a disastrous but 
perhaps intelligible mistake the Chief Secretary, when 
we reached Dublin, was facing an agrarian and political 
revolt of the most determined character, with nothing 
but the ordinary law, resting on juries and evidence, 
as his instrument an instrument which the Irish Land 
League had taken good care to shatter in his hands. 
Threatening letters were flowing in upon both himself 
and my godmother ; and the tragedy of 1882, with the 
revelations as to the various murder plots of the time, 
to which it led, were soon to show how terrible was the 
state of the country, and how real the danger in which 
he personally stood. But none the less social life had 
to be carried on ; entertainments had to be given ; and 
we went over, if I remember right, for the two Christmas 
balls to be given by the Chief Secretary and the Viceroy. 
On myself, fresh from the quiet Oxford life, the Irish 
spectacle, seen from such a point of view, produced an 
overwhelming impression. And the dancing, the visits 
and dinner parties, the keeping up of a brave social show 
quite necessary and right under the circumstances ! 
began to seem to me, after only twenty-four hours, like 
some pageant seen under a thunder-cloud. 

Mr. Forster had then little more than five years to 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ' ROBEBT ELSMEBE ' 177 

live. He was on the threshold of the second year of 
his Chief Secretaryship. During the first year he had 
faced the difficulties of the position in Ireland, and the 
perpetual attacks of the Irish Members in Parliament, 
with a physical nerve and power still intact. I can 
recall my hot sympathy with him during 1880, while 
with one hand he was fighting the Land League, and 
with the other a fact never sufficiently recognised 
giving all the help he could to the preparation of Mr. 
Gladstone's second Land Act. The position then was 
hard, sometimes heart-breaking ; but it was not beyond 
his strength. The second year wore him out. The 
unlucky Protection Act an experiment for which the 
Liberal Cabinet and even its Radical Members. Mr. 
Bright and Mr. Chamberlain, were every whit as 
chargeable as himself imposed a personal responsi- 
bility on him for every case out of the many hundreds 
of prisoners made under the Act, which was in itself 
intolerable. And while he tried in front to dam back 
the flood of Irish outrage, English Radicalism at his 
heels was making the task impossible. What he was 
doing satisfied nobody, least of all himself. The official 
and land-owning classes in Ireland, the Tories in Eng- 
land, raged, because, in spite of the Act, outrage con- 
tinued ; the Radical party in the country, which had 
always disliked the Protection Act, and the Radical 
press were on the lookout for every sign of failure ; 
while the daily struggle in the House with the Irish 
Members while Parliament was sitting, in addition 
to all the rest, exhausted a man on whose decision 
important executive acts, dealing really with a state of 
revolution, were always depending. All through the 



178 

second year, as it seemed to me, he was overwhelmed by 
a growing sense of a monstrous and insoluble problem, 
to which no one, through nearly another forty years 
not Mr. Gladstone with his Home Rule Acts, as we 
were soon to see, nor Mr. Balfour's wonderful brain- 
power sustained by a unique temperament was to 
find the true key. It is not found yet. Twenty years 
of Tory government practically solved the Land Ques- 
tion, and agricultural Ireland has begun to be rich. 
But the past year has seen an Irish rebellion ; a Home 
Rule Act has at last, after thirty years, been passed, 
and is dead before its birth ; while at the present moment 
an Irish Convention is sitting. 1 Thirty-six years have 
gone since my husband and I walked with William 
Forster through the Phoenix Park, over the spot where, 
a year later, Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke 
were murdered. And still the JEschylean ' curse ' 
goes on, from life to life, from Government to Govern- 
ment. When will the Furies of the past become the 
* kind goddesses ' of the future and the Irish and 
English peoples build them a shrine of reconciliation ? 
With such thoughts one looks back over the past. 
Amid its darkness, I shall always see the pathetic 
figure of William Forster, the man of Quaker training, at 
grips with murder and anarchy ; the man of sensitive, 
affectionate spirit, weighed down under the weight of 
rival appeals, now from the side of democracy, now from 
the side of authority ; bitterly conscious, as an English 
Radical, of his breach with Radicalism ; still more 



1 These words were written in the winter of 1917. At the present 
moment (June 1918) we have just seen the deportation of the Sinn Feiners, 
and are still expecting yet another iiome Rule Bill. 



THE BEGINNINGS OP ' BOBEKT ELSMERE ' 179 

keenly sensitive, as a man responsible for the executive 
government of a country in which the foundations had 
given way, to that atmosphere of cruelty and wrong 
in which the Land League moved, and to the hideous 
instances poured every day into his ears. 

He bore it for more than a year after we saw him 
in Ireland at his thankless work. It was our first year 
in London, and we were near enough to watch closely 
the progress of his fight. But it was a fight not to be 
won. The spring of 1882 saw his resignation on 
May 2 followed on May 6 by the Phoenix Park murders 
and the long and gradual disintegration of the powerful 
ministry of 1880, culminating in the Home Rule disaster 
of 1886. Mr. Churchill in the Life of his father, Lord 
Randolph, says of Mr. Forsfcer's resignation, ' he passed 
out of the Ministry to become during the rest of Parlia- 
ment one of its most dangerous and vigilant opponents/ 
The physical change indeed, caused by the Irish struggle, 
which was for a time painfully evident to the House 
of Commons, seemed to pass away with rest and travel. 
The famous attack he made on Parnell in the spring 
of 1883, as the responsible promoter of oiitrage in 
Ireland, showed certainly no lack of power rather 
an increase. I happened to be in the House the follow- 
ing day, to hear Parnell's reply. I remember my 
uncle's taking me down with him to the House, and 
begging a seat for me in Mrs. Brand's gallery. The 
figure of Parnell the speech, nonchalant, terse, defiant, 
without a single grace of any kind his hands in the 
pockets of his coat and the tense silence of the crowded 
House, remain vividly with me. Afterwards my uncle 
came upstairs for me, and we descended towards Palace 



180 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Yard through various side passages. Suddenly a 
door, communicating with the House itself, opened 
in front of us, and Parnell came out. My uncle pressed 
my arm, and we held back, while Parnell passed by, 
sombrely absorbed, without betraying by the smallest 
movement or gesture any recognition of my uncle's 
identity. 

In other matters Gordon, Imperial Federation, 
the development of the Manchester Ship Canal, and 
the rest William Forster showed, up till 1885, what 
his friends fondly hoped was the promise of renewed and 
successful work. But in reality he never recovered 
Ireland. The mark of those two years had gone too 
deep. He died in April 1886, just before the intro- 
duction of the Home Rule Bill, and I have always on 
the retina of the inward eye the impression of a moment 
at the western door of Westminster Abbey, after the 
funeral service. The flower-heaped coffin had gone 
through. My aunt and her adopted children followed 
it. After them came Mr. Gladstone, with other members 
of the Cabinet. At the threshold Mr. Gladstone moved 
forward, and took my aunt's hand, bending over it 
bareheaded. Then she went with the dead, and he 
turned away, towards the House of Commons. To those 
of us who remembered what the relations of the dead 
and the living had once been, and how they had parted, 
there was a peculiar pathos in the little scene. 

A few days later Mr. Gladstone brought in the Home 
Rule Bill, and the two stormy months followed, which 
ended in the Liberal Unionist split, and the defeat of 
the Bill on June 7 by thirty votes, and were the prelude 
to the twenty years of Tory Government. If William 



THIS BEGINNINGS OF ' ROBERT ELSMERB ' 181 

Forster had lived, there is no doubt that he must have 
played a leading part in the struggles of that and sub- 
sequent sessions. In 1888 Mr. Balfour said to my 
husband, after some generous words on the part played 
by Forster in those two terrible years ' Forster's loss 
was irreparable to us (i.e. to the Unionist party). 
If he and Fawcett had lived, Gladstone could not have 
made head.' 

It has been, I think, widely recognised by men of 
all parties in recent years that personally William 
Forster bore the worst of the Irish day, whatever men 
may think of his policy. But after all, it is not for this, 
primarily, that England remembers him. His monu- 
ment is everywhere in the schools that have covered the 
land since 1870, when his great Act was passed. And 
if I have caught a little picture from the moment when 
death forestalled that imminent parting between himself 
and the leader he had so long admired and followed 
which life could only have broadened, let me match it 
by an earlier and happier one, borrowed from a letter 
of my own, written to my father when I was eighteen, 
and describing the bringing-in of the Education Act. 

He sat down amidst loud cheering. . . . Gladstone pulled 
him down with a sort of hug of delight. It is certain that he is 
very much pleased with the Bill, and, what is of great conse- 
quence, that he thinks the Government has throughout been 
treated with great consideration in it. After the debate he 
said to Uncle F., ' Well, I think our pair of ponies will ran 
through together ! ' 

Gladstone's ' pony ' was of course the Land Act 
of 1870. 



CHAPTER X 
LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 

THE few recollections of William Forster that I have 
put together in the preceding chapter lead naturally 
perhaps to some account of my friendship and working 
relations at this time with Forster's most formidable 
critic in the political press Mr. John Morley, now Lord 
Morley. It was in the late seventies, I think, that I 
first saw Mr. Morley. I sat next him at the Master's 
dinner table, and the impression he made upon me was 
immediate and lasting. I trust that a great man, to 
whom I owed much, will forgive me for dwelling on 
some of the incidents of literary comradeship which 
followed ! 

My husband and I on the way home compared notes. 
We felt that we had just been in contact with a singular 
personal power combined with a moral atmosphere 
which had in it both the bracing and the charm, that, 
physically, are the gift of the heights. The ' austere ' 
Radical indeed was there. With regard to certain 
vices and corruptions of our life and politics, my uncle 
might as well have used Mr. Morley's name as that of 
Mr. Frederick Harrison, when he presented us in ' Friend- 
ship's Garland ' with Mr. Harrison setting up a guillotine 

182 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 188 

in his back garden. There was something there always 
has been something of the sombre intensity of the 
prophet in Mr. Morley. Burke drew, as we all remember, 
an ineffaceable picture of Marie Antoinette's young 
beauty as he saw it in 1774, contrasting it with the 
' abominable scenes ' amid which she perished. Mr. 
Morley's comment is 

But did not the protracted agonies of a nation deserve the 
tribute of a tear ? As Paine asked, were men to weep over the 
plumage and forget the dying bird? ... It was no idle 
abstraction, no metaphysical right of man for which the French 
cried, but only the practical right of bring permitted, by their 
own toil, to save themselves and the little ones about their 
knees from hunger and cruel death. 

The cry of the poor, indeed, against the rich and 
tyrannous, the cry of the persecuted Liberal, whether 
in politics or religion, against his oppressors it used 
to seem to me, in the eighties, when, to my pleasure 
and profit, I was often associated with Mr. Morley, 
that in his passionate response to this double appeal 
lay the driving impulse of his life, and the secret of his 
power over others. While we were still at Oxford he 
had brought out most of his books : ' On Compromise ' 
the fierce and famous manifesto of 1874 and the 
well-known volumes on the Encyclopaedists, Voltaire, 
Eousseau, Diderot. It was not for nothing that he 
had been a member of Pattison's college, and a follower 
of John Stuart Mill. The will to look the grimmest 
facts of life and destiny in the face, without flinching, 
and the resolve to accept no ' anodyne ' from religion 
or philosophy, combined with a ceaseless interest in 
the human fate and the human story, and a natural, 
inbred sympathy for the many against the few, for 



184 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

the unfortunate against the prosperous : it was these 
ardours and the burning sincerity with which he felt 
them, which made him so great a power among us his 
juniors by half a generation. I shall never lose the 
impression that ' Compromise/ with its almost savage 
appeal for sincerity in word and deed, made upon me 
an impression which had its share in ' Eobert Elsmere/ 
But together with this tragic strenuousness there 
was always the personal magic which winged it and 
ga v e it power. Mr. Morley has known all through his life 
what it was to be courted, by men and women alike, 
for the mere pleasure of his company ; in which he 
resembled another man whom both he and I knew well 
Sir Alfred Lyall. It is well known that Mr. Gladstone 
was fascinated by the combination in his future bio- 
grapher of the Puritan, the man of iron conviction, 
and the delightful man of letters. And in my own small 
sphere I realised both aspects of Mr. Morley during 
the eighties. Just before we left Oxford I had begun 
to write reviews and occasional notes for the Pall Mall, 
which he was then editing ; after we settled in London, 
and he had become also editor of Macmillan, he asked 
me, to my no little conceit, to write a monthly causerie 
on a book or books for that magazine. I never suc- 
ceeded in writing nearly so many ; but in two years 
I contributed perhaps eight or ten papers until I 
became absorbed in ' Eobert Elsmere ' and Mr. Morley 
gave up journalism for politics. During that time 
my pleasant task brought me into frequent contact 
with my editor. Nothing could have been kinder than 
his letters ; at the same time there was scarcely one of 
them that did not convev some hint, some touch of the 

tt 

critical goad, invaluable to the recipient. I wrote him 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 185 

a letter of wailing when he gave up the editorship and 
literature, and became Member for Newcastle. Such a 
fall it seemed to me then ! But Mr. Morley took it 
patiently. ' Do not lament over your friend, but pray 
for him ! ' As indeed one might well do, in the case 
of one who for a few brief months in 1886 was to be 
Chief Secretary for Ireland, and again in 1892-1895. 

It was, indeed, in connection with Ireland that I 
became keenly and personally aware of that other side 
of Mr. Morley's character the side which showed him 
the intransigent supporter of liberty at all costs and all 
hazards. It was, I suppose, the brilliant and pitiless 
attacks in the Pall Mall on Mr. Forster's Chief Secre- 
taryship, which, as much as anything else, and together 
with what they reflected in the Cabinet, weakened my 
uncle's position, and ultimately led to his resignation 
in the spring of 1882. Many of Mr. Forster's friends 
and kinsfolk resented them bitterly ; and among the 
kinsfolk, one of them, I have reason to know, made 
a strong private protest. Mr. Morley's attitude in 
reply could only have been that which is well expressed 
by a sentence of Darmesteter's about Renan : ' So pliant 
in appearance, so courteous in manner, he became a 
bar of iron as soon as one sought to wrest from him an 
act or word contrary to the intimate sense of his 
conscience.' 

But no man has a monopoly of conscience. The 
tragedy was that here were two men, both democrats, 
both humanitarians, but that an executive office, in 
a time of hideous difficulty, had been imposed upon 
the one, from which the other his critic was free. 
Ten years later, when Mr. Morley was Chief Secretary, 
it was pointed out that the same statesman who had 



186 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

so sincerely and vehemently protested in the case 
of William Forster and Mr. Balfour against the revival 
of ' obsolete ' statutes, and the suppression of public 
meetings, had himself been obliged to put obsolete 
statutes in operation sixteen times, and to prohibit 
twenty-six public meetings. These however are the 
whirligigs of politics, and no politician escapes 
them. 

In my eyes Lord Morley's crowning achievement 
in literature is his biography of Mr. Gladstone. How 
easy it would have been to smother even Mr. Gladstone 
in stale politics ! and how stale politics may become, 
in that intermediate stage before they pass finally into 
history ! English political literature is full of biography 
of this kind. The three notable exceptions of recent 
years which occur to me are Mr. Churchill's Life of his 
father, the Disraeli biography still in progress, and the 
' Gladstone/ But it would be difficult indeed to 
' stale ' the story of either Lord Randolph or Dizzy. 
A biographer would have to set about it of malice 
prepense. In the case however of Mr. Gladstone, 
the danger was more real. Anglican orthodoxy, 
eminent virtue, unfailing decorum ; a comparatively 
weak sense of humour, and a literary gift much inferior 
to his oratorical gift, so that the most famous of his 
speeches are but cold reading now ; interminable 
sentences, and an unfailing relish for detail all important 
in its day, but long since dead and buried : the kind 
of biography that, with this material, half a dozen of 
Mr. Gladstone's colleagues might have written of him, 
for all his greatness, rises formidably on the inward 
eye. The younger generation, waiting for the historian 
to come except in the case of those whose professional 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 187 

duty as politicians it would have been to read it- 
might quite well have yawned and passed by. 

But Mr. Morley 's literary instinct, which is the 
artistic instinct, solved the problem. The most 
interesting half of the book will always, I think, be the 
later half. In the great matters of his hero's earlier 
career Free Trade, the Crimean War, the early budgets, 
the slow development of the Liberal leader from the 
Church and State Conservative of 1832, down to the 
franchise battle of the sixties, and the ' great Ministry,' 
as Mr. Morley calls it, of 1868, the story is told, indeed, 
perhaps here and there at too great length, yet with 
unfailing ease and lucidity. The teller, however, is 
one who, till the late seventies, was only a spectator, 
and, on the whole, from a distance, of what he is 
describing, who was indeed most of the time pursuing 
his own special aims i.e. the hewing down of ortho- 
doxy and tradition, together with the preaching of a 
frank and uncompromising agnosticism, in the Fort- 
nightly Review ; aims which were of all others most 
opposed to Mr. Gladstone's. But with the eighties 
everything changes. Mr. Morley becomes a great part 
of what he tells. During the intermediate stage- 
marked by his editorship of the Pall Mall Gazette 
the tone of the biography grows sensibly warmer and 
more vivid, as the writer draws nearer and nearer to 
the central scene ; and with Mr. Morley 's election to 
Newcastle and his acceptance of the Chief Secretaryship 
in 1885, the book becomes the fascinating record of 
not one man but two, and that without any intrusion 
whatever on the rights of the main figure. The dreari- 
ness of the Irish struggle is lightened by touch after 
touch that only Mr. Morley could have given. Take 



188 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

that picture of the sombre, discontented Parnell, coming, 
late in the evening to Mr Morley 's room in the House 
of Commons, to complain of the finance of the Home 
Kule Bill; Mr. Gladstone's entrance at 10.30 P.M. after 
an exhausting day ; and how then the man of seventy- 
seven sat patiently down to work between the Chief 
Secretary and the Irish leader, till at last with a sigh of 
weariness, at nearly 1 A.M., the tired Prime Minister 
pleaded to go to bed ! Or the dramatic story, later on, 
of Committee Room No. 15, where Mr. Morley becomes 
the reporter to Mr. Gladstone of that moral and political 
tragedy, the fall of Parnell ; or a hundred other sharp 
lights upon the inner and human truth of things, as it 
lay behind the political spectacle. All through the 
Jater chapters too, the happy use of conversations 
between the two men on literary and philscphical 
matters, relieves what might have been the tedium 
of the erd. For these vivid nctes of free talk not only 
brirg the livirg Gladstone before ycu in the most 
varied relation to his time ; they keep up a perpetually 
interesting comparison in the reader's mind between 
the hero and his biographer. One is as eager to know 
what Mr. Morley is goirg to say as one is to listen to 
Mr. Gladstone. The two men with their radical dif- 
ferences and their passionate sympathies throw light 
on each other, and the agreeable pages achieve a double 
end, without ever affecting the real unity of the book. 
Thus handled, biography, so often the drudge of liter- 
ature, rises into its high places, and becomes a delight, 
instead of an edifying or informing necessity. 

I will add one other recollection of this early time 
i.e. that in 1881 the reviewing of Mr. Morley's 
1 Cobden ' in the Times fell to my husband, and as those 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 189 

were the days of many-column reviews, and as the time 
given for the review was exceedingly short, it could only 
be done at all by a division of labour. We divided the 
sheets of the book, and we just finished in time to let 
my husband rush off to Printing House Square and 
correct the proofs as they went through the press, for the 
morning's issue. In those days, as is well known, the 
Times went to press much later than now, and a leader- 
writer rarely got home before 4 and sometimes 5 A.M. 

I find it extremely difficult as I look back to put any 
order into the crowding memories of those early years 
in London. They were extraordinarily stimulating to 
us both, and years of great happiness. At home our 
children were growing up ; our own lives were branching 
out into new activities, and bringing us always new 
friends, and a more interesting share in that ' great 
mundane movement/ which the * portly jeweller from 
Cheapside ' believed would perish without him. Our con- 
nection with the Times and with the Forsters, and the 
many new acquaintances and friends we made at this 
time in that happy meeting-ground of men and causes 
Mrs. Jeune's drawing-room opened to us the world of 
politicians ; while my husband's four volumes on ' The 
English Poets/ published just as we left Oxford, volumes 
to which all the most prominent writers of the day had 
contributed, together with the ever-delightful fact that 
Matthew Arnold was my uncle, brought us the welcome 
of those of our own metier and way of life ; and when 
in '84 my husband became art-critic of the paper, a 
function which he filled for more than five and twenty 
years, fresh doors opened on the already crowded scene, 
and fresh figures stepped in. 



190 A WEITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

The setting of it all was two-fold in the first place, 
our dear old house in Russell Square, and, in the next, 
the farm on Rodborough Common, four miles from 
Godalming, where, amid a beauty of gorse and heather 
that filled every sense on a summer day with the mere 
joy of breathing and looking, our children and we spent 
the holiday hours of seven goodly years. The Russell 
Square house has been, so to speak, twice demolished, 
and twice buried, since we lived in it. Some of its 
stones must still lie deep under the big hotel which now 
towers on its site. That it does not still exist somewhere, 
I can hardly believe. The westerly sun seems to me 
still to be pouring into the beautiful little hall, built 
and decorated about 1750, with its panels of free scroll- 
work in blue and white, and to be still glancing through 
the drawing-rooms to the little powder-closet at the 
end, my tiny workroom, where I first sketched the plan of 
' Robert Elsmere ' for my sister Julia Huxley, and where 
after three years I wrote the last words. If I open the 
door of the back drawing-room, there, to the right, is 
the children's schoolroom. I see them at their lessons, 
and the fine plane trees that look in at the window. 
And upstairs there are the pleasant bedrooms and the 
nurseries. It was born, the old house, in the year of 
the Young Pretender, and after serving six generations, 
perhaps, as faithfully as it served us, it ' fell on sleep. ' 
There should be a special Elysium surely for the 
houses where the fates have been kind, and where 
people have been happy ; and a special Tartarus 
for those of OEdipus or Atreus in which ' old un- 
happy far-off things ' seem to be always poisoning the 
present. 

As to Borough Farm now the Headquarters of 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 191 

the vast camp which stretches to Hindhead it stood 
then in an unspoilt wilderness of common and wood, 
approached only by what we called ' the sandy track ' 
from the main Portsmouth Road, with no neighbours 
for miles but a few scattered cottages. Its fate has 
been harder than that of 61 Russell Square. The old 
London house has gone clean out of sight, translated, 
whole and fair, into a world of memory. But Borough 
and the common are still here as war has made them. 
Only may I never see them again ! 

It was in 1882, the year of Tel-el-Kebir, when we 
took Peperharrow Rectory (the Murewell Vicarage of 
' Robert Elmsere ') for the summer, that we first came 
across Borough Farm. We left it in 1889. I did a great 
deal of work, there and in London, in those seven 
years. The Macmillan papers I have already spoken of. 
They were on many subjects Tennyson's ' Becket,' Mr. 
Pater's ' Marius,' ' The Literature of Introspection/ Jane 
Austen, Keats, Gustavo Becquer, and various others. 
I still kept up my Spanish to some extent, and I twice 
examined in 1882 and 1888 for the Taylorian scholar- 
ship in Spanish at Oxford ; our old friend, Dr. Kitchin, 
afterwards Dean of Durham, writing to me with glee 
that I should be ' making history,' as ' the first woman 
examiner of men at either University.' My colleague 
on the first occasion was the old Spanish scholar, Don 
Pascual de Gayangos, to whom the calendaring of the 
Spanish MSS. in the British Museum had been largely 
entrusted ; and the second time, Mr. York Powell of 
Christ Church I suppose one of the most admirable 
Romance scholars of the time was associated with me. 
But if I remember right, I set the papers almost 
entirely, and wrote the report on both occasions. 



192 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

It gave me a feeling of safety in 1888, when my know- 
ledge, such as it was, had grown very rusty, that Mr. 
York Powell overlooked the papers, seeing that to set 
Scholarship questions for post-graduate candidates is 
not easy for one who has never been through any 
proper * mill ' ! But they passed his scrutiny satis- 
factorily, and in 1888 we appointed as Taylorian 
Scholar a man to whom for years I confidently looked 
for the history of Spain combining both the Spanish 
and Arabic sources so admirable had his work been in 
the examination. But alack ! that great book has still 
to be written. For Mr. Butler Clarke died prematurely 
in 1904, and the hope died with him. 

For the Times I wrote a good many long, separate 
articles before 1884, on ' Spanish Novels/ ' American 
Novels/ and so forth ; the ' leader ' on the death of 
Anthony Troll ope ; and various elaborate reviews of 
books on Christian origins, a subject on which I was 
perpetually reading, always with the same vision before 
me, growing in clearness as the years passed. 

But my first steps towards its realisation were to 
begin with the short story of 'Miss Bretherton/ published 
in 1884, and then the translation of AmieTs ' Journal 
Intime/ which appeared in 1885. ' Miss Bretherton ' 
was suggested to me by the brilliant success in 1883 of 
Mary Anderson, and by the controversy with regard to 
her acting as distinct from her delightful beauty, and 
her attractive personality which arose between the 
fastidious few and the enchanted many. I maintained 
then, and am quite sure now, that Isabel Bretherton 
was in no sense a portrait of Miss Anderson. She was 
to me a being so distinct from the living actress that I 
offered her to the world with an entire good faith, which 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 193 

seems to myself now, perhaps, thirty years later, hardly 
less surprising than it did to the readers of the time. 
For undoubtedly the situation in the novel was developed 
out of the current dramatic debate. But it became to 
me just a situation a problem. It was really not 
far removed from Diderot's problem in the ' Paradoxe 
sur le Comedien.' What is the relation of the actor to 
the part represented ? One actress is plain Rachel ; 
another actress is beautiful, and more than beautiful, 
delightful Miss Anderson. But all the time, is there or 
is there not a region in which all these considerations 
count for nothing in comparison with certain others ? 
Is there a dramatic art exacting, difficult, supreme 
or is there not ? The choice of the subject, at that time, 
was it may be confessed a piece of naivete, and the 
book itself was young and naive throughout. But 
something in it has kept it in circulation all this while ; 
and for me it marks with a white stone the year in 
which it appeared. For it brought me my first critical 
letter from Henry James ; it was the first landmark 
in our long friendship. 

Beloved Henry James ! It seems to me that my 
original meeting with him was at the Andrew Langs 
in 1882. He was then forty- two, in the prime of his 
working life, and young enough to be still ' Henry James, 
Junior/ to many. I cannot remember anything else of 
the Langs' dinner-party except that we were also invited 
to meet the author of ' Vice Versa/ ' which Mr. Lang 
thinks ' as I wrote to my mother ' the best thing of 
its kind since Dickens.' But shortly after that, Mr. 
James came to see us in Russell Square, and a little 
incident happened which stamped itself for good on a 
still plastic memory. It was a very hot day ; the 



194 A. WRITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

western sun was beating on the drawing-room windows, 
though the room within was comparatively dark and 
cool. The children were languid with the heat, and 
the youngest, Janet, then five, stole into the drawing- 
room, and stood looking at Mr. James. He put out a 
half-conscious hand to her ; she came nearer, while we 
talked on. Presently she climbed on his knee. I 
suppose I made a maternal protest. He took no 
notice, and folded his arm round her. We talked on ; 
and presently the abnormal stillness of Janet recalled 
her to me and made me look closely through the dark 
of the room. She was fast asleep, her pale little face 
on the young man's shoulder, her long hair streaming 
over his arm. Now Janet was a most independent 
and critical mortal, no indiscriminate ' climber up of 
knees ' ; far from it. Nor was Mr. James an indis- 
criminate lover of children ; he was not normally 
much at home with them, though always good to 
them. But the childish instinct had in fact divined 
the profound tenderness and chivalry which were the 
very root of his nature ; and he was touched and 
pleased, as one is pleased when a robin perches on one's 
hand. 

From that time, as the precious bundle of his letters 
shows, he became the friend of all of us myself, my 
husband, and the children ; though with an increased 
intimacy from the nineties onwards. In a subsequent 
chapter I will try and summarise the general mark left 
on me by his fruitful and stainless life. His letter to 
me about ' Miss Bretherton ' is dated December 9, 
1884. He had already come to see me about it, and 
there was never any critical discussion like his, for its 
suggestion of a hundred points of view, its flashing of 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 195 

unexpected lights, its witness to the depth and richness 
of his own artistic knowledge. 

The whole thing is delicate and distinguished [he wrote 
me] and the reader has the pleasure and security of feeling 
that he is with a woman (distinctly a woman !) who knows how 
(rare bird !) to write. I think your idea, your situation inter- 
esting in a high degree But [and then come a series of 
most convincing ' but<3 ' ! He objects strongly to the happy 
ending]. 1 wish that your actress had been carried away from 
Kendal [her critical lover, who worships herself, but despises 
her art] altogether, carried away by the current of her artistic 
life, the sudden growth of her power, and the excitement, the 
ferocity and egotism (those of the artist realising success, I 
mean ; I allude merely to the normal dose of those elements) 
which the effort to create, to 'arrive ' (once she. had had a 
glimpse of her possible successes) would have brought with it. 
(Excuse that abominable sentence.) Isabel, the Isabel you 
describe, has too much to spare for Kendal Kendal being 
what he is ; and one doesn't feel her, see her, enough, as the 
pushing actress, the cdbotine ! She lapses towards him as if 
she were a failure, whereas you make her out a great success. 
No ! she wouldn't have thought so much of him at such 
a time as that though very possibly she would have come 
back to him later. 

The whole letter indeed is full of admirable criticism, 
sprung from a knowledge of life, which seemed to me, 
hi& junior by twelve years, unapproachably rich and 
full. But how grateful I was to him for the criticism ! 
how gracious and chivalrous was his whole attitude 
towards the writer and the book ! Indeed as I look over 
the bundle of letters which concern this first novel of 
mine, I am struck by the good fortune which brought 
me such mingled chastening and praise, in such long 
letters, from judges so generous and competent. Henry 
James, Walter Pater, John Morley, 'Mr. Creighton' 



196 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

(then Dixie Professor at Cambridge), Cotter Morri- 
son, Sir Henry Taylor, Edmond Scherer they are 
all there. Besides the renewal of the old throb of 
pleasure as one reads them, one feels a sort of belated 
remorse that so much trouble was taken for so slight 
a cause ! Are there similar friends nowadays to help 
the first steps of a writer ? Or is there no leisure left 
in this choked life of ours ? 

The decisive criticism perhaps, of all, is that of Mr. 
Creighton : ' I find myself carried away by the delicate 
feeling with which the development of character is 
traced/ But ' You wrote this book as a critic not 
as a creator. It is a sketch of the possible worth of 
criticism in an unregenerate world. This was worth 
doing once ; but if you are going on with novels you 
must throw criticism overboard, and let yourself go, 
as a partner of common joys, common sorrows, ai-d 
common perplexities There I have told "you what 
I think, just as I think it.' 



' Miss Bretherton ' was a trial trip, and it taught me 
a good deal. When it came out I had nearly finished 
the translation of Amiel, which appeared in 1885, and in 
March of that year some old friends drove me up the 
remote Westmorland valley of Long Sleddale, at a 
moment when the blackthorn made lines of white along 
the lanes ; and from that day onward the early chapters 
of ' Robert Elsmere ' began to shape themselves in my 
mind. All the main ideas of the novel were already 
there. Elsmere was to be the exponent of a freer faith ; 
Catherine had been suggested by an old friend of my 
youth; while Lang.. am was the fruit of my long 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 1U7 

communing with the philosophic charm and the tragic 
impotence of Amiel. I began the book in the early 
summer of 1885) and thenceforward it absorbed me 
until its appearance in 1888. 

1885, indeed, was a year of expanding horizons, of 
many new friends, of quickened pulses generally. The 
vastness of London and its myriad interests seemed to 
be invading our life more and more. I can recall one 
summer afternoon, in particular, when as I was in a 
hansom driving idly westward towards Hyde Park 
Gate, thinking of a hundred things at once, this con- 
sciousness of intensification, of a heightened meaning 
in everything the broad street, the crowd of moving 
figures and carriages, the houses looking down upon it 
seized upon me with a rush. ' Yes, it is good the 
mere living ! ' Joy in the infinite variety of the great 
city as compared with the ' cloistered virtue ' of Oxford ; 
the sheer pleasure of novelty, of the kind new faces, 
and the social discoveries one felt opening on many 
sides ; the delight of new perceptions, new powers in 
oneself ; all this seemed to flower for me in those few 
minutes of reverie if one can apply such a word to an 
experience so vivid. And meanwhile, the same intensity 
of pleasure from nature that I had always been capable 
of, flowed in upon me from new scenes ; above all from 
solitary moments at Borough Farm, in the heart of 
the Surrey commons, when the September heather 
blazed about me ; or the first signs of spring were on 
the gorse and the budding trees ; or beside some lonely 
pool ; and always heightened now by the company of 
my children. It was a stage a normal stage, in normal 
life. But I might have missed it so easily ! The Fates 
were kind to us in those days. 



198 A WBITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

As to the social scene, let me gather from it first a 
recollection of pure romance. One night at a London 
dinner-party I found myself sent down with a very stout 
gentleman, an American Colonel, who proclaimed him- 
self an ' esoteric Buddhist/ and provoked in me a rapid 
and vehement dislike. I turned my back upon him, 
and examined the table. Suddenly, I became aware 
of a figure opposite to me, the figure of a young girl 
who seemed to me one of the most ravishing creatures 
I had ever seen. She was very small, and exquisitely 
made. Her beautiful head, with its mass of light-brown 
hair, the small features, and delicate neck, the clear 
pale skin, the lovely eyes, with rather heavy lids, which 
gave a. slight look of melancholy to the face ; the grace 
and fire of every movement when she talked, the dreamy 
silence into which she sometimes fell, without a trace 
of awkwardness or shyness. But how vain is any mere 
catalogue to convey the charm of Laura Tennant the 
first Mrs. Alfred Lyttelton to those who never saw her ! 

I asked to be introduced to her as soon as we left 
the dining-room, and we spent the evening in a corner 
together. 

I fell in love with her there and then. The rare 
glimpses of her that her busy life and mine allowed, 
made one of my chief joys thenceforward, and her 
early death was to me as to so many, many others ! 
a grief never forgotten. 

In the recent biography of Alfred Lyttelton, Colonial 
Minister in Mr. Balfour's latest Cabinet, and him- 
self one of the best-loved men of our generation, 
his second wife has beautifully conveyed to the 
public of thirty years later some idea of Laura's 
charm. And I greatly hope that it may be 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 190 

followed some day by a collection of her letters, for 
there are many in existence, and young as she was, 
they would, I believe, throw much light upon a crowded 
moment in our national life. Laura was the fourth 
daughter of Sir Charles Tennant, a rich Glasgow 
manufacturer, and the elder sister of Mrs. Asquith. 
She and her sisters came upon the scene in the early 
eighties; and without any other extrinsic advantage 
but that of wealth, which in this particular case would 
not have taken them very far, they made a conquest 
the two younger, Laura and Margot, in particular 
of a group of men and women who formed a kind of 
intellectual and social elite ; who were all of them 
accomplished ; possessed, almost all of them, of con- 
spicuous good looks, or of the charm that counts as 
much ; and among whom there happened to be a 
remarkable proportion of men who have since made 
their mark on English history. My generation knew 
them as ' The Souls. ' ' The Souls ' were envied, mocked 
at, caricatured, by those who were not of them. They 
had their follies why not ? They were young, and it 
was their golden day. Their dislike of convention and 
routine had the effect on many and those not fools 
of making convention and routine seem particularly 
desirable. But there was not, I think, a young man 
or woman admitted to their inner ranks who did not 
possess in some measure, a certain quality very difficult 
to isolate and define. Perhaps, to call it ' disinterested- 
ness ; comes nearest. For they were certainly no seekers 
after wealth, or courters of the great. It might be 
said, of course, that they had no occasion ; they had 
as much birth and wealth as anyone need want, among 
themselves. But that does not explain it. For push 



200 A WBITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

and greed are among the commonest faults of an aris- 
tocracy. The immortal pages of Saint Simon are there 
to show it. * Where your treasure is, there will your 
heart be also/ says the Gospel. Now the ' treasure ' 
among the Souls was, ultimately or at least, tended to 
be something spiritual. The typical expression of it, 
at its best, is to be found in those exquisite last words 
left by Laura Lyttelton for her husband, which the 
second Mrs. Alfred Lyttelton has, as I think, so rightly 
published. That unique ' will/ which for thirty years 
before it appeared in print was known to a wide circle of 
persons, many of whom had never seen the living Laura, 
was the supreme expression of a quality which, in 
greater or lesser degree, the Souls seemed to demand 
of each other, and of those who wished to join their 
band. Yet, combined with this passion, this poetry, 
this religious feeling, was first the maddest delight in 
simple things in open air and physical exercise ; then, 
a headlong joy in literature, art, music, acting; a per- 
petual spring of fun ; and a hatred of all the solemn pre- 
tences that too often make English society a weariness. 

No doubt there is something perhaps much to be 
said on the other side. But I do not intend to say it. 
I was never a Soul, nor could have been. I came from 
too different a world. But there were a certain number 
of persons of whom I was one who were their * har- 
bourers ' and spectators. I found delight in watching 
them. They were quite a new experience to me ; and 
I saw them dramatically, like a scene in a play, full of 
fresh implications and suggestions. I find in an old 
letter to my mother an account of an evening at 40 
Grosvenor Square, where the Tennants lived. 

It wai not an evening party we joined a dinner party 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 201 

there, nfter dining somewhere else. So that the rooms were 
empty enough to let one see the pretty creatures gathered in 
it, to perfection. In the large drawing-room, which is really 
a ball-room with a polished floor, people were dancing, or 
thought-reading, or making music as it pleased them. 

Mr. Balfour was there, with whom we had made 
friends, as fellow-guests, on a week-end visit to Oxford, 
not long before ; Alfred Lyttelton, then in the zenith 
of his magnificent youth ; Lord Curzon, then plain 
Mr. Curzon, and in the Foreign Office ; Mr. Harry Cust ; 
Mr. Rennell Rodd, now the British Ambassador in 
Rome, and many others a goodly company of young 
men in their prime. And among the women there was 
a very high proportion of beauty but especially of 
grace. * The half -lit room, the dresses and the beauty/ 
says my letter, ' reminded one of some festa painted 
by Watteau or Lancret/ But with what a difference ! 
For after all, it was English, through and through. 

A little after this evening, Laura Tennant came 
down to spend a day at Borough Farm with the children 
and me. Another setting ! Our principal drawing-room 
there in summer was a sand-pit, shaded by an old ash 
tree, and haunted by innumerable sand-martins. It was 
Ascension Day, and the commons were in their spri g 
loveliness. Our guest, I find, was to have come down 
' with Mr. Balfour and Mr. Burne Jones.' But in the 
end she came down alone ; and we talked all day, sitting 
under hawthorns white with bloom, wandering through 
rushy fields ablaze with marsh marigold and orchis. 
She wrote to me the same evening after her return to 
London : 

I sit with my eyes resting on the mediaeval purple of the sweet 



202 A WBITER'S EECOLLECTION8 

breathing orchis you gave me, and my thoughts feasting on the 
wonderful beauty of the snowy blossom against the blue. . . . 
This has been a real Ascension Day.- 

Later in the year in November she wrote to me 
from Scotland she was then twenty-one : 

I am still in Scotland, but don't pity me, f jr I love it more 
than anything else in the wide world. If you could only hear 
the wind throwing his arm against my window, and sobbing 
down the glen. I think I shall never have a Lover I am so fond 
of as the wind. None ever serenaded me so divinely. And 
when I open my window wide and ask him what he wants, and 
tell him I am quite ready to elope with him now this moment 
he only moans and sighs thro' my out blown hair and gives 
me neuralgia. ... I read all day, except when I am out with 
my Lover, or playing with my little nephew and niece, both of 
whom I adore for they are little poets. We have had a house 
full ever since August, so I am delighted to get a little calm. 
It is so dreadful never, never to be alone and really the 
housemaid would do just as well ! and yet, whenever I go to 
my sanctum I am routed out as if I was of as much use as plums 
to plum pudding, and either made to play lawn tennis or 
hide-and-seek, or to talk to a young man whose only idea of 
the Infinite is the Looking-glass. All these are the trials that 
attend the ' young lady ' of the house. Poor devil ! Forgive 
strong language but really my sympathy is deep. 

I have however some really nice friends here, and am not 
entirely discontented. Mr. Gerald Balfour left the other day. 
He is very clever and quite beautiful like a young god. I 
wonder if you know him. I know you know Arthur. . . . 
Lionel Tennyson who was also here with Gerald Balfour has 
a splendid humour witty and ' fin ' which is rare in England. 
Lord Houghton, Alfred Lyttelton, Godfrey Webb, George 
Curzon, the Chesterfk Ids, the Hayters, Mary Gladstone, and 
a lot more have been here. I went north too to the land of 
Thule and was savagaly happy. I wore no hat no gloves 
I bathed, fished, boated, climbed, and kissed the earth, and 
danced round a cairn. It was opposite Skye at a Heaven called 
Loch Ailsa. . . . Such beauty such weather such a fortnight 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 203 

will not como again. Perhaps it would be unjust to the crying 
world for one human being to have more of the Spirit of Delight ; 
but one is glad to have tasted of the cup, and while it was in 
my hands I drank deeply. 

I have read very little. I am hungering for a month or 
two's silence. 

But there was another lover than the West Wind 
waiting for this most lovable of mortals. A few days 
afterwards she wrote to me from a house in Hampshire, 
where many of her particular friends were gathered, 
amongst them Alfred Lyttelton. 

The conversation is pyrotechnic and it is all quite delight- 
ful. A beautiful place paradoxical arguments ideals raised 
and shattered temples torn and battered temptations given 
way to newspapers unread acting rhyming laughing 
ad infinitum. I wish you were here ! 

Six weeks afterwards she was engaged to Mr. Lyttel- 
ton. She was to be married in May, and in Easter week 
of that year we met her in Paris, where she was buying 
her trousseau, enjoying it like a child, making friends with 
all her dressmakers, and bubbling over with fun about 
it. ' It isn't " dressing," ' she said ' unless you apply 
main force to them. What they want is always 
" presque pas de corsage, et pas du tout de manches ! " 

One day she and Mr. Lyttelton, and Mr. Balfour, 
and one or two others came to tea with us at the Hotel 
Chatham to meet Victor Cherbuliez. The veteran 
French novelist fell in love with her, of course, and their 
talk Laura's French was as spontaneous and apparently 
as facile as her English kept the rest of us happy. 
Then she married in May, with half London to see, and 
Mr. Gladstone then Prime Minister mounted on the 
chair, to make the wedding speech. For by her mar- 



204 A WKITEK'S KECOLLECTIONS 

riage Laura became the great man's niece, since Alfred 
Lyttelton's mother was a sister of Mrs. Gladstone. 

Then in the autumn came the hope of a child to 
her who loved children so passionately. But all through 
the waiting time she was overshadowed by a strangely 
strong presentiment of death. I went to see her some- 
times towards the end of it, when she was resting on her 
sofa in the late evening, and used to leave her listening 
for her husband's step, on his return from his work, 
her little weary face already lit up with expectation. 
The weeks passed, and those who loved her began to 
be anxious. I went down to Borough Farm in May, 
and there, just two years after she had sat with us 
under the hawthorn, I heard the news of her little son's 
birth, and then ten days later the news of her death. 

With that death, a ray of pure joy was quenched 
on earth. But Laura Lyttelton was not only youth 
and delight she was also embodied love. I have 
watched her in a crowded room where everybody wanted 
her, quietly seek out the neglected person there, the 
stranger, the shy secretary or governess, and make 
them happy bring them in with an art that few 
noticed, because in her it was nature. When she 
died, she left an enduring mark in the minds of many 
who have since governed or guided England ; but she was 
mourned also by scores of humble folk, and by disagree- 
able folk whom only she befriended. Mrs. Lyttelton 
quotes a letter written by the young wife to her husband : 

Tell me you love me and always will. Tell me, so that when 
I dream I may dream of Love, and when I sleep dreamless Love 
may be holding me in his wings, and when I wake Love may be 
the spirit in my feet, and when I die Love may be the Angel 
that takes me home. 



LONDON IN THE EIGHTIES 205 

And in the room of death, when the last silence fell 
on those gathered there, her sister Margot by Laura's 
wish, expressed some time before read aloud the ' will,' 
in which she spoke her inmost heart. 

' She was a flame, beautiful, dancing, ardent/ 
writes the second Mrs. Lytteltcn. ' The wind of life was 
too fierce for such a spirit, she could not live in it.' 

I make no apology for dwelling on the life and 
early death of this young creature who was only known 
to a band though a large bond of friends during her 
short years. Throughout social and literary history there 
have been a few apparitions like hers, which touch with 
peculiar force, in the hearts of men and women, the 
old, deep, human notes which * make us men.' Youth, 
beauty, charm, death they are the great themes 
with which all art, plastic or literary, tries to conjure. 
It is given to very few to handle them simply, yet 
sufficiently ; with power, yet without sentimentality. 
Breathed into Laura's short life, they affected those who 
knew her like the finest things in poetry. 



LONDON FRIENDS 

IT was in 1874, as I have already mentioned, that on 
an introduction from Matthew Arnold we first made 
friends with M. Edmond Scherer, the French writer and 
Senator, who more than any other person unless per- 
haps one divides the claim between him and M. Faguet 
stepped into the critical chair of Sainte Beuve, after 
that great man's death. For M. Scherer's weekly 
reviews in the Temps (1863-78) were looked for by 
many people over about fifteen years, as persons of 
similar tastes had looked for the famous ' Lundis,' in 
the Constitutionnd of an earlier generation. 

We went out to call upon the Scherers at Versailles, 
coupling with it, if I remember right, a visit to the 
French National Assembly then sitting in the Chateau. 
The road from the station to the palace was deep in 
snow, and we walked up behind two men in ardent 
conversation, one of them gesticulating freely. My 
husband asked a man beside us, bound also, it seemed, 
for the Assembly, who they were. ' M. Gambetta and 
M. Jules Favre/ was the answer. So there we had in 
front of us the intrepid organiser of the Government 
of National Defence, whose services to France France 



LONDON FKIENDS 207 

will never forget, and the unfortunate statesman to 
whom it fell, under the tyrannic and triumphant force 
of Germany (which was to prove, as we now know, 
in the womb and process of time, more fatal to herself 
than to France !) to sign away Alsace-Lorraine. And 
we had only just settled ourselves in our seats when 
Gambetta was in the tribune making a short but im- 
passioned speech. I but vaguely remember what the 
speech was about, but the attitude of the lion head 
thrown back, and the tones of the famous voice remain 
with me as it rang out in the recurrent phrase ' Je 
proteste ! Messieurs, je protestc ! ' It was the attitude 
of the statue in the Place du Carrousel, and of the meri- 
dional, Numa Roumestan, in Daudet's well-known novel. 
Every word said by the speaker seemed to enrage 
the benches of the Right, and the tumult was so great 
at times that we were still a little dazed by it when 
we reached the quiet of the Scherers' drawing-room. 

M. Scherer rose to greet us, and to introduce us 
to his wife and daughters. A tall, thin man, already 
white-haired, with something in his aspect which sug- 
gested his Genevese origin something at once ascetic, 
and delicately sensitive. He was then in his sixtieth 
year, deputy for the Seine et Oise, and an important 
member of the Left Centre. The year after we saw him 
he became a Senator, and remained so through his life, 
becoming more Conservative as the years went on. 
But his real importance was as a man of letters ; one of 
the recognised chiefs of French literature and thought, 
equally at war with the forces of Catholic reaction, then 
just beginning to find active literary expr ssion, and with 
the scientific materialism of M. Taine. He was when 
we first knew him a Protestant who had ceased to 



903 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

believe in any historical religion ; a Liberal who, like 
another friend of oirrs, Mr. Coschen, about the same 
time, was drifting into Conservatism ; and also, a man 
of strong and subtle character to whom questions of 
ethics were at all times as important as questions of 
pure literature. Above all, he was a scholar, specially 
conversant with England and English letters. He 
was, for instance, the ' French critic on Milton/ on 
whom Matthew Arnold wrote one of his most attractive 
essays ; and he was fond of maintaining and proving 
that when French people did make a seriuus study of 
England and English books, which he admitted was 
rare, they were apt to make fewer mistakes about us 
than English writers make about France. 

Dear Monsieur Scherer ! I see him first in the little 
suite cf carpetless rooms, empty save for books and the 
most necessary tables and chairs, where he lived and 
worked at Versailles ; amid a library ' read, marked, 
learned and inwardly digested ' like that of Lord Acton, 
his English junior. And then in a winter walk along 
the Champs Elysees, a year or two later, discussing the 
prospects of Catholicism in France. ' They haven't a 
man a speaker a book ! It is a real drawback to us 
Liberals that they are so weak, so negligible. We 
have nothing to hold us together ! ' At the moment, 
Scherer was perfectly right. But the following years 
were to see the flowing back of Catholicism into litera- 
ture, the Universities, the Ecole Normale. Twenty years 
later I quoted this remark of Scherer's to a young French 
philosopher, ' True, for its date/ he said. ' There was 
then scarcely a single Catholic in the Ecole Normale 
(i.e. at the head-waters of French education). There 
ar* now a great many. But they are all Modernists / ' 



LONDON FRIENDS 20 

Since then, again, we have seen the growing strength of 
Catholicism in the French literature of imagination, in 
French poetry and fiction. Whether in the end it will 
emerge the stronger for the vast stirring of the waters 
caused by the present war is one of the most interesting 
questions of the present day. 

But I was soon to know Edmond Scherer more 
intimately. 1 imagine that it was he who in 1884 sent 
me a copy of the 'Journal Intime* of Henri Frederic 
Amiel, edited by himself. The book laid its spell upon 
me at once ; and I felt a strong wish to translate it. 
M. Scherer consented and I plunged into it. It was a 
delightful but exacting task. At the end of it, I knew 
a good deal more French than I did at the beginning ! 
For the book abounded in passages that put one on one's 
mettle, and seemed to challenge every faculty one 
possessed. M. Scherer came over with his daughter 
Jeanne a ' schone Seele/ if ever there was one and 
we spent hours in the Russell Square drawing-room, 
turning and twisting the most crucial sentences this way 
and that. 

But at last the translation and my Introduction were 
finished and the English book appeared. It certainly 
obtained a warm welcome both here and in America. 
There is something in Amid's mystical and melancholy 
charm which is really more attractive to the Anglo- 
Saxon than the French temper. At any rate in the 
English-speaking countries the book spread widely, and 
has maintained its place till now. 

The Journal is very interesting to me [wrote the Master of 
Balliol]. It catches and detains many thoughts that have 
passed over the minds of others, which they rarely express, 
because they must take a eontimental form, from which most 



210 A WBITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

thinkers recoil. It is all about ' self/ yet it never leaves an 
egotistical or affected impression. It is a curious combination 
of scepticism and religious feeling, like Pascal, but its elements 
are compounded in different proportions and the range of 
thought is far wider and more comprehensive. On the other 
hand Pascal is more forcible, and looks down upon human 
things from a higher point of view. 

Why was he unhappy ? . . . But after all commentaries 
on the lives of distinguished men are of very doubtful value. 
There is the life ; take it and read it who can. 

Amiel was a great genius as is shewn by his power of style. 
. . . His Journal is a book in which the thoughts of many 
hearts are revealed. . . . There are strange forms of mysti- 
cism, which the poetical intellect takes. I suppose we must 
not try to explain them. Amiel was a Neo-Platonist and a 
sceptic in one. 

For myself [wrote Walter Pater], I shall probably think on 
finishing the book that there was still something Amiel might 
have added to those elements of natural religion, which he was 
able to accept at times with full belief and always with the 
sort of hope which is a great factor in life. To my mind, the 
beliefs and the function in the world of the historic church 
form just one of those obscure but all-important possibilities 
which the human mind is powerless effectively to dismiss from 
itself, and might wisely accept, in the first place, as a work- 
able hypothesis. The supposed facts on which Christianity 
rests, utterly incapable as they have become of any ordinary 
test, seem to me matters of very much the same sort of assent 
we give to any assumptions, in the strict and ultimate sense, 
moral. The question whether those facts are real will, I think, 
always continue to be what I should call one of the natural 
questions of the human mind. 

A passage, it seems to me, of considerable interest 
as throwing light upon the inner mind of one of the 
most perfect writers, and most important influences of 
the nineteenth century. Certainly there is no sign in 



LONDON FRIENDS 211 

it on Mr. Pater's part of * dropping Christianity ' ; 
very much the contrary. 



But all this time, while literary and meditative folk 
went on writing and thinking, how fast the political 
world was rushing ! Those were the years, after the 
defeat of the first Home Kule Bill, and the dismissal of 
Mr. Gladstone, of Lord Salisbury's Government and Mr. 
Balfour's Chief Secretaryship. As I look back upon 
them those five dramatic years culminating first in the 
Parnell Commission, and then in Parnell's tragic down- 
fall and death, I see everything grouped round Mr. 
Balfour. From the moment when, in succession to Sir 
Michael Hicks Beach, Mr. Balfour took over the Chief 
Secretaryship, his sudden and swift development seemed 
to me the most interesting thing in politics. We had 
first met him, as I have said, on a week-end visit to the 
Talbots at Oxford. It was then a question whether his 
health would stand the rough and tumble of politics. 
I recollect he came down late and looked far from 
robust. We travelled up to London with him, and he 
was reading Mr. Green's ' Prolegomena to Ethics,' which, 
if I remember right, he was to review for Mind. 

He was then a member of the Fourth Party, and 
engaged though in a rather detached fashion in those 
endless raids and excursions against the ' Goats,' i.e. the 
bearded veterans of his ow party, Sir Stafford North 
cote in particular, of which Lord Randolph was the 
leader. But compared to Lord Randolph he had made 
no parliamentary mark. One thought of him as the 
metaphysician, the lover of music, the delightful com- 
panion, always, I feel now, in looking back, with a 
prevailing consciousness of something reserved and 



212 A WKITEK'S EECOLLECTIONS 

potential in him, which gave a peculiar importance and 
value to his judgments of men and things. He was a 
leading figure among the ' Souls/ and I remember some 
delightful eveniugs in his company before '86, when the 
conversation was entirely literary or musical. 

Then, with the Chief Secretaryship there appeared 
a new Arthur Balfour. The courage, the resource, the 
never-failing wit and mastery with which he fought the 
Irish members in Parliament, put down outrage in 
Ireland, and at the same time laid the foundation in a 
hundred directions of that social and agrarian redemp- 
tion of Ireland, on which a new political structure will 
some day be reared is perhaps even now about to rise : 
these things make one of the most brilliant, one of the 
most dramatic chapters in our modern history. 

It was in 1888, two years after Mr. Forster's death, 
that we found ourselves for a Sunday at Whittinghame. 
It was, I think, not long before the opening of the 
Special Commission which was to enquire into the 
charges brought by the Tiw.es against the Parnellites 
and the Land League. Nothing struck me more in Mr. 
Balfour than the absence in him of any sort of excite- 
ment or agitation, in dealing with the current charges 
against the Irishmen. It seemed to me that he had 
quietly accepted the fact that he was fighting a revolu- 
tion, and while perfectly clear as to his own course of 
action, wasted no nervous force on moral reprobation 
of the persons concerned. His business was to protect 
the helpless, to punish crime, and to expose the authors 
of it, whether high or low. But he took it as a job to 
be done difficult- unpleasant but all in the way of 
business. The tragic or pathetic emotion that so many 
people were ready to spend upon it, he steadily kept 



LONDON FRIENDS 213 

at a distance. His nerve struck me as astonishing, and 
the absence of any disabling worry about things past. 
' One can only do one's best at the moment/ he said to 
me once, a pro;>os of some action of the Irish govern- 
ment which had turned out badly ' if it doesn't suc- 
ceed, better luck next time ! Nothing to be gained by 
going back upon things.' After this visit to Whitting- 
hame, I wrote to my father: 

I came away more impressed and attracted by Arthur 
Balfour than ever. If intelligence and heart, and pure inten- 
tions can do anything for Ireland, he at least has got them all. 
Physically he seems to have broadened and heightened since 
he took office, and his manner, which was always full of charm, 
is even brighter and kindlier than it was or I fancied it. 
He spoke most warmly of Uncle Forster. 

And the interesting and remarkable thing was the 
contrast between an attitude so composed and rtoical, 
and his delicate physique, his sensitive sympathetic 
character. All the time, of course, he was in constant 
personal danger. Detectives, much to his annoyance, 
lay in wait for us as we walked through his own park, 
and went with him in London wherever he dined. Like 
my uncle, he was impatient of being followed and 
guarded, and only submitted to it for the sake of other 
people. Once, at a dinner-party at our house, he met 
an old friend of ours, one of the most original thinkers of 
our day, Mr. Philip Wicksteed, economist, Dante scholar, 
and "Unitarian minister. He and Mr. Balfour were 
evidently attracted to each other, and when the time for 
departure came, the two, deep in conversation, instead 
of taking cabs, walked off together in the direction of 
Mr. Balfour's house in Carlton Gardens. The detectives 
below-stairs remained for some time blissfully uncon- 



214 A WRITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

scious of what had happened. Then word reached 
them ; and niy husband, standing at the door to see a 
guest off, was the amused spectator of the rush in pursuit 
of two splendid long-legged fellows, who had however 
no chance whatever of catching up the Chief Secretary. 

Thirty years ago, almost ! And during that time 
the name and fame of Arthur Balfour have become an 
abiding part of English history. Nor is there any 
British statesman of our day who has been so much 
loved by his friends, so little hated by his opponents, so 
widely trusted by the nation. 



As to the Special Commission and the excitement 
produced by the Times attack on the Irish Members, 
including the publication of the forged Parnell letter in 
1887, our connection with the Times brought us of 
course into the full blast of it. Night after night, I 
would sit up half asleep to listen to the different phases 
of the story when in the early hours of the morning my 
husband came back from the Times, brimful of news, 
which he was as eager to tell as I to hear. My husband, 
however, was only occasionally asked to write upon 
Ireland, and was not in the inner counsels of the paper 
on that subject. We were both very anxious about the 
facsimiled letter, and when, after long preliminaries, the 
Commission came to the Times witnesses, I well re- 
member the dismay with which I heard the first day of 
Mr. Macdonald's examination. Was that all ? I came 
out of the Court behind Mr. Labouchere and Sir George 
Lewis, and in Mr. Labouchere 's exultation one read 
the coming catastrophe. I was on the Riviera when 
Pigott's confession, flight and suicide held the stage ; 
yet even at that distance the shock was great. The 



LONDON FEIENDS 215 

Times attack was fatally discredited, and the influence 
of the great paper temporarily crippled. Yet how 
much of that attack was sound, how much of it was 
abundantly justified ! After all, the report of the Com- 
mission apart altogether from the forged letter or 
letters certainly gave Mr. Balfour in Ireland later on 
the reasoned support of English opinion, in his hand-to- 
hand struggle with the Land League methods, as the 
Commission had both revealed and judged them. After 
thirty years one may well admit that the Irish land 
system had to go, and that the Land League was ' a 
sordid revolution/ with both the crimes and the excuses 
of a revolution. But at the time, British statesmen 
had to organise reform with one hand, and stop boycott- 
ing and murder with the other ; and the light thrown 
by the Commission on the methods of Irish disaffection 
was invaluable to those who were actually grappling 
day by day with the problems of Irish government. 

It was probably at Mrs. Jeune's that I first saw 
Mr. Goschen, and we rapidly made friends. His was 
a great position at that time. Independent of both 
parties, yet trusted by both ; at once disinterested and 
sympathetic ; a strong Liberal in some respects, an 
equally strong Conservative in others, he never spoke 
without being listened to, and his support was eagerly 
courted both by Mr. Gladstone, from whom he had 
refused office in 1880, without however breaking with 
the Liberal party, and by the Conservatives, who in- 
stinctively felt him their property, but were not yet 
quite clear as to how they were to finally capture him. 
That was decided in 1886 when Mr. Goschen voted in the 
majority that killed the Home Rule Bill, and more 
definitely in the following year when Randolph Churchill 



216 A WEITER'S KECOLLECTIONS 

resigned the Exchequer in a fit of pique, thinking 
himself indispensable, and not at all expecting Lord 
Salisbury to accept his resignation. But in his own 
historic phrase, he ' forgot Goschen/ and Mr. Goschen 
stepped easily into his shoes and remained there. 

I find from an old diary that the Goschens dined 
with us in Russell Square two nights before the historic 
division on the Home Rule Bill, and I remember how 
the talk raged and ranged. Mr. Goschen was an 
extremely agreeable talker, and I seem still to hear his 
husky voice with the curious deep notes in it, and to be 
looking into the large but short-sighted and spectacled 
eyes he refused the Speakership mainly on the grounds 
of his sight of which the veiled look often made 
what he said the more racy and unexpected. A letter 
he wrote me in '86 after his defeat at Liverpool, I kept 
for many years as the best short analysis I had ever 
read of the Liberal Unionist position, and the probable 
future of the Liberal party. 

Mrs. Goschen was as devoted a wife as Mrs. Glad- 
stone, or Mrs. Disraeli, and the story of the marriage 
was a romance enormously to Mr. Goschen's credit. 
Mr. Goschen must have been a most faithful lover, and 
he certainly was a delightful friend. We stayed with 
them at Seacox, their home in Kent, and I remember 
one rainy afternoon there, the greater part of which 
I spent listening to his talk with John Morley, and I 
think Sir Alfred Lyall. It would have been difficult 
to find a trio of men better worth an audience. 

Mrs. Goschen, though full of kindness and goodness, 
was not literary, and the house was somewhat devoid 
of books, except in Mr. Goschen's study. I remember 
J. R. G/s laughing fling when Mrs. Goschen complained 



LONDON FRIENDS 217 

that she could not get ' Pride and Prejudice/ which 
he had recommended to her, ' from the library. ' ' But 
you could have bought it for sixpence at the railway 
book-stall/ said J. R. G. Mr. Goschen himself however 
was a man of wide cultivation, as befitted the grandson 
of the intelligent German bourgeois who had been the 
publisher of both Schiller and Goethe. His biography 
of his grandfather in those happy days before the 
present life and death struggle between England and 
Germany has now a kind of symbolic value. It is a 
study by a man of German descent who had become one 
of the most trusted of English statesmen, of that earlier 
German life with its measure, its kindness, its ideal- 
ism on which Germany has turned its back. The 
writing of this book was the pleasure of his later years, 
amid the heavy work which was imposed upon him as 
a Free-Trader, in spite of his personal friendship for 
Mr. Chamberlain, by the Tariff Reform campaign of 
1903 onwards ; and the copy which he gave me reminds 
me of many happy talks with him, and of my own true 
affection for him. I am thankful that he did not live to 
see 1914. 

Lord Goschen reminds me of Lord Acton, another 
new friend of the eighties. Yet Lord Acton had been 
my father's friend and editor, in the Home and Foreign 
Review, long before he and I knew each other. Was 
there ever a more interesting or a more enigmatic per- 
sonality than Lord Acton's ? His letters to Mrs. Drew, 
addressed evidently in many cases to Mr. Gladstone, 
through his daughter, have always seemed to me one of 
the most interesting documents of our time. Yet I felt 
sharply, in reading them, that the real man was only 
partially there ; and in the new series of letters just 



218 A WBITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

published (October 1917) much and welcome light is 
shed upon the problem of Lord Acton's mind and char- 
acter. The perpetual attraction for me, as for many 
others, lay in the contrast between Lord Acton's Catholi- 
cism, and the universality of his learning ; and, again, 
between what his death revealed of the fervour and 
simplicity of his Catholic faith, and the passion of 
his Liberal creed. Oppression tyranny persecution 
those were the things that stirred his blood. He was a 
Catholic, yet he fought Ultramontanism and the Papal 
Curia to the end ; he never lost his full communion with 
the Church of Home, yet he could never forgive the 
Papacy for the things it had done, and suffered to be 
done ; and he would have nothing to do with the excuse 
that the moral standards of one age are different from 
those of another, and therefore the crimes of a Borgia 
weigh more lightly and claim more indulgence than 
similar acts done in the nineteenth century. 

There is one moral standard for all Christians there has 
never been more than one [he would say inexorably]. The 
Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount have been 
always there. It was the wickedness of men that ignored 
them in the fifteenth century it is the wickedness of men 
that ignores them now. Tolerate them in the past, and you 
will come to tolerate them in the present and future. 

It was in 1885 that Mr. then recently made Pro- 
fessor Creighton showed me at Cambridge an extra- 
ordinarily interesting summary, in Lord Acton's hand- 
writing, of what should be the principles the ethical 
principles of the modern historian in dealing with the 
past. They were, I think, afterwards embodied in an 
introduction to a new edition of Machiavelli. The gist 
of them however is given in a letter written to Bishop 



LONDON FRIENDS 219 

Creighton in 1887, and printed in the biography of the 
Bishop. Here we find a devout Catholic attacking an 
Anglican writer for applying the epithets ' tolerant and 
enlightened ' to the later mediaeval Papacy. 

'These men* (i.e. the Popes of the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries), he says, ' instituted a system of persecution. 
. . . The person who authorises the act shares the guilt of the 
person who commits it. . . . Now the Liberals think persecu- 
tion a crime of a worse order than adultery, and the acts done 
by Ximenes ' (through the agency of the Spanish Inquisition) 
' considerably worse than the entertainment of Eoman courte- 
sans by Alexander Vlth.' 

These lines of course point to the Acton who was the 
lifelong friend of Dollinger and fought, side by side with 
the Bavarian scholar, the promulgation of the dogma 
of Papal Infallibility, at the Vatican Council of 1870. 
But while Dollinger broke with the church, Lord Acton 
never did. That was what made the extraordinary 
interest of conversation with him. Here was a man 
whose denunciation of the crimes and corruption of 
Papal Home of the historic church indeed and the 
clergy in general was far more unsparing than that of 
the average educated Anglican. Yet he died a devout 
member of the Koman Church in which he was born ; 
after his death it was revealed that he had never felt 
a serious doubt either of Catholic doctrine, or of the 
supernatural mission of the Catholic Church ; and it 
was to a dearly-loved daughter on her deathbed that he 
said with calm and tender faith 'My child, you will 
soon be with Jesus Christ/ All his friends, except the 
very few who knew him most intimately, must I think 
have been perpetually puzzled by this apparent paradox 
in his life and thought. Take the subject of Biblical 



220 A WEITEE'S KECOLLECTIONS 

criticism. I had many talks with him while I was 
writing ' Robert Elsmere/ and was always amazed at 
his knowledge of what Liddon would have called ' Ger- 
man infidel ' books. He had read them all, he possessed 
them all ; he knew a great deal about the lives of the 
men who had written them ; and he never spoke of them, 
both the books and the writers without complete and, 
as it seemed to me, sympathetic tolerance. I remem- 
ber after the publication of the dialogue on * The New 
Reformation/ in which I tried to answer Mr. Glad- 
stone's review of ' Robert Elsmere/ by giving an out- 
line of the history of religious enquiry and Biblical 
criticism from Lessing to Harnack that I met Lord 
Acton one evening on the platform of Bletchley 
station, while we were both waiting for a train. 
He came up to me with a word of congratulation 
on the article. ' I only wish/ I said, ' I had been 
able to consult you more about it/ ' No, no/ he 
said * Votre siege est faitc ! But I think you should 
have given more weight to so-and-so, and you have 
omitted so-and-so/ "Whereupon we walked up and 
down in the dusk, and he poured out that learning of 
his, in that way he had so courteous, modest, thought- 
provoking which made one both wonder at and love 
him. 

As to his generosity and kindness towards younger 
students, it was endless. I asked him once when I was 
writing for Macmillan, to give me some suggestions for 
an article on Chateaubriand. The letter I received 
from him the following morning is a marvel of know- 
ledge, bibliography, and kindness. And not only did 
he give me such a ' scheme ' of reading as would have 
taken any ordinary person months to get through, but 






LONDON FBIENDS . 221 

he arrived the following day in a hansom, with a number 
of the books he had named, and for a long time they 
lived on my shelves. Alack, I never wrote the article, 
but when I came to the writing of ' Eleanor/ for which 
certain material was drawn from the life of Chateau- 
briand, his advice helped me. And I don't think he 
would have thought it thrown away. He never despised 
novels ! 

Once on a visit to us at Stocks, there were nine books 
of different sorts in bis room which I had chosen and 
placed there. By Monday morning he had read them 
all. His library, when he died, contained about 60,000 
volumes all read ; and it will be remembered that Lord 
Morley, to whom Mr. Carnegie gave it, has handed it 
on to the University of Cambridge. 

In "84 when I first knew him, however, Lord Acton 
was every bit as keen a politician as he was a scholar. 
As is well known, he was a poor speaker, and never made 
any success in Parliament ; and this was always, it 
seemed to me, the drop of gall in his otherwise happy 
and distinguished lot. But if he was never in an English 
Cabinet, his influence over Mr. Gladstone through the 
whole of the Home Rule struggle gave him very real 
political power. He and Mr. Morley were the constant 
friends and associates to whom Mr. Gladstone turned 
through all that critical time. But the great split was 
rushing on, and it was also in '84 that, at Admiral 
Maxse's one night at dinner, I first saw Mr. Chamberlain, 
who was to play so great a part in the following years. 
It was a memorable evening to me, for the other guest 
in a small party was M. Clemenceau. 

M. Clemenceau was then at the height of his power 
as the maker and unmaker of French Ministries. It was 



222 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

he more than any other single man who had checkmated 
the Eoyalist reaction of 1877, and driven MacMahon 
from power ; and in the year after we first met him, 
he was to bring Jules Ferry to grief over ' L'affaire de 
Tongkin/ He was then in the prime of life, and he is 
still (1917), thirty-three years later, 1 one of the most 
vigorous of French political influences. Mr. Chamber- 
lain, in 1884, was forty-eight, five years older than the 
French politician, and was at that time, of course, the 
leader of the Radicals, as distinguished from the old 
Liberals, both in the House of Commons and Mr. Glad- 
stone's Cabinet. 

How many great events, in which those two men were 
to be concerned, were still in the ' abysm of time/ as 
we sat listening to them at Admiral Maxse's dinner- 
table ! Clemenceau, the younger, and the more fiery 
and fluent ; Chamberlain, with no graces of conversation, 
and much less ready than the man he was talking with, 
but producing already the impression of a power, certain 
to leave its mark, if the man lived, on English history. 
In a letter to my father after the dinner-party, I de- 
scribed the interest we had both felt in M. Clemenceau. 
' Yet he seems to me a light weight to ride such a horse 
as the French democracy ! ' 

In the following year, 1885, I remember a long 
conversation on the Gordon catastrophe with Mr. 
Chamberlain at Lady Jeune's. It was evident, I thought, 
that his mind was greatly exercised by the whole story 
of that disastrous event. He went through it from step 
to step, ending up deliberately, but with a sigh ' I 

1 These lines were written shortly before, on the overthrow of M. 
Painleve, M. Clemenceau, at the age of seventy-seven, became Prime 
Minister of France, at what may well be the deciding moment of French 
destiny (January 1918). 



LONDON FRIENDS 223 

have never been able to see, from day to day, and I do 
not see now, how the Ministry could have taken any 
other course than that they did take/ 

Yet the recently published biography of Sir Charles 
Dilke shows clearly how very critical Mr. Chamberlain 
had already become of his great leader, Mr. Gladstone, 
and how many causes were already preparing the 
rupture of 1886. 



I first met Mr. Browning in '84 or "85, if I remember 
right, at a Kensington dinner-party, where he took me 
down. A man who talked loud and much was dis- 
coursing on the other side of the table : and a spirit 
of opposition had clearly entered into Mr. Browning. 
A propos of some recent acting in London we began to 
talk of Moliere, and presently, as though to shut out the 
stream of words opposite, which was damping conversa- 
tion, the old poet how the splendid brow, and the 
white hair come back to me ! fell to quoting from the 
famous sonnet scene in ' Le Misanthrope ' : first of all 
Alceste's rage with Philinte's flattery of the wretched 
verses declaimed by Oronte ' Morbleu, vil complais- 
ant, vous louez des sottises ' then the admirable fenc- 
ing between Oronte and Alceste, where Alceste at first 
tries to convey his contempt for Oronte 's sonnet in- 
directly, and then bursts out 

Ce n'est que jeu de mots, qu'affectation pure, 
Et ce n'est point ainsi que parle la nature ! 

breaking immediately into the ' vieille chanson/ 
one line of which is worth all the affected stuff that 
Celime'ne and her circle admire. 



224 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Browning repeated the French in an undertone, 
kindling as he went, I urging him on, our two heads 
close together. Every now and then he would look 
up to see if the plague outside was done, and finding it 
still went on, would plunge again into the seclusion of 
our tete-a-tete ; till the ' chanson ' itself ' Si le roi 
m'avoit donne Paris, sa grand* ville ' had been said, 
to his delight and mine. 

The recitation lasted through several courses, and 
our hostess once or twice threw uneasy glances towards 
us, for Browning was the ' lion ' of the evening. But 
once launched he was not to be stopped ; and as for 
me, I shall always remember that I heard Browning 
spontaneously, without a moment's pause to remember 
or prepare recite the whole, or almost the whole, of one 
of the immortal things in literature. 

He was then seventy-two or seventy-three. He 
came to see us once or twice in Russell Square, but 
alack! we arrived too late in the London world to 
know him well. His health began to fail just about 
the time when we first met, and on December 12, 1889, 
he died in the Palazzo Rezzonico. 

He did not like ' Robert Elsmere/ which appeared 
the year before his death ; and I was told a striking 
story by a common friend of his and mine, who was 
present at a discussion of the book at a literary house. 
Browning, said my friend, was of the party. The 
discussion turned on the divinity of Christ. After 
listening a while, Brownirg expressed his entire dis- 
agreement with the main argument of the book, repeat- 
ing with dramatic force the anecdote of Charles Lamb, 
in conversation with Leigh Hunt on the subject of 



LONDON FRIENDS 225 

' Persons one would wish to have seen ' ; when, after 
rangi g through literature and philosophy, Lamb added, 
' 1 here is one other Person If Shakespeare was to 
come into the room, we should all rise up to meet 
him; but if that Person was to come into it, we should 
fall dovm and try to kiss the hem of his garment ! ' 
Some fourteen years after his death I seemed to be 
brought very near in spirit to this great man, and so far 
as a large portion of his work is concerned great poet. 
We were in Venice. I was writing the * Marriage of 
William Ashe/ and being in want of a Venetian setting 
for some of the scenes, I asked Mr. Pen Browning, who 
was, I think, at Asolo, if he would allow me access to the 
Palazzo Kezzonico, which was then uninhabited. He 
kindly gave me free leave to wander about it as I liked ; 
and I went most days to sit and write in one of the 
rooms of the mezzanin. But when all chance of a 
tourist had gone, and the palace was shut, I used to walk 
all about it in the rich May light, rinding it a little 
creepy ! but endlessly attractive and interesting. 
There was a bust of Mr. Browning, with an inscription, 
in one of the rooms, and the place was haunted for me 
by his great ghost. It was there he had come to die, 
in the palace which he had given to his only son, whom 
he adored. The concierge pointed out to me what he 
believed to be the room in which he passed away. There 
was very little furniture in it. Everything was chill 
and deserted. I did not want to think of him there. 
I liked to imagine him strolling in the stately hall of the 
palace with its vast chandelier, its pillared sides and 
Tiepolo ceiling, breathing in the Italian spirit which 
through such long years had passed into his, and delight- 



226 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

ing, as a poet delights not vulgarly, but with some- 
thing of a child's adventurous pleasure in the mellow 
magnificence of the beautiful old place. 

Mr. Lowell is another memory of these early London 
days. My first sight of him was at Mr. and Mrs. West- 
lake's house in a temper ! For someone had im- 
prudently talked of ' Yankeeisms/ perhaps with some 
' superior ' intonation. And Mr. Lowell the Lowell of 
' A Certain Condescension in Foreigners ' had flashed 
out : ' It's you English who don't know your own lan- 
guage and your own literary history. Otherwise you 
would realise that most of what you caJJ " Yankeeisms " 
are merely good old English, which you have thrown 
away.' 

Afterwards, I find records of talks with him at Russell 
Square, then of Mrs. Lowell's death in 1885, and finally 
of dining with him in the spring of 1887, just before his 
return to America. At that dinner was also the German 
Ambassador, Count Hatzfeldt, a handsome man, with 
a powerful, rather sombre face. I remember some 
talk with him after dinner on current books and 
politics. Just thirty years ago ! Mr. Lowell had then 
only four years to live. He and all other diplomats 
had just passed through an anxious spring. The 
scare of another Franco-German war had been playing 
on the nerves of Europe ; started in the main by the 
.military party in Germany, in order to ensure the 
passing of the famous Army law of that year the first 
landmark in that huge military expansion, of which we 
see the natural fruit in the present Armageddon. 

A week or two before this dinner the German elec- 
tions had given the Conservatives an enormous victory. 



LONDON FEIENDS 227 

Germany indeed was in the full passion of economic 
and military development all her people growing rich 
intoxicated besides, with vague dreams of coming 
power. Yet I have still before me the absent inde- 
cipherable look of her Ambassador a man clearly of 
high intelligence at Mr. Lowell's table. Thirty years ! 
and at the end of them America was to be at grips 
with Germany, sending armies across the Atlantic to 
fight in Europe. It would have been as impossible 
for any of us, on that May evening in Lowndes Square, 
even to imagine such a future, as it was for Macbeth to 
credit the absurdity that Birnam wood would ever come 
to Dunsinane ! 

A year later Mr. Lowell came back to London for a 
time in a private capacity, and I got to know him 
better and to like him much. Here is a characteristic 
touch in a note I find among the old letters : 

I am glad you found something to like in my book and 
much obliged to you for saying so. Nobody but Wordsworth 
ever got beyond need of sympathy t and he started there ! 



CHAPTER XII 

THE PUBLICATION OF 'ROBERT ELSMERE' 

IT was in 1885, after the completion of the Amiel trans- 
lation, that I began 'Robert Elsmere/ drawing the 
opening scenes from that expedition to Long Sleddale 
in the spring of that year which I have already men- 
tioned. The book took me three years nearly to 
write. Again and again I found myself dreaming that 
the end was near, and publication only a month or two 
away ; only to sink back on the dismal conviction that 
the second, or the first, or the third volume or some 
portion of each must be rewritten, if I was to satisfy 
myself at all. I actually wrote the last words of the 
last chapter in March 1887, and came out afterwards, 
from my tiny writing-room at the end of the drawing- 
room, shaken with tears, and wondering as I sat alone 
on the floor, by the fire, in the front room, what life 
would be like now that the book was done ! But it was 
nearly a year after that before it came out, a year of 
incessant hard work, of endless re-writing, and much 
nervous exhaustion. For all the work was saddened 
and made difficult by the fact that my mother's 
long illness was nearing its end, and that I was torn 
incessantly between the claim of the book, and the 
desire to be with her whenever I could possibly be spared 

223 



THE PUBLICATION OP ' ROBEBT ELSMEEE ' 229 

from my home and children. Whenever there was a 
temporary improvement in her state, I would go down 
to Borough alone to work feverishly at revision, only to 
be drawn back to her side before long by worse news. 
And all the time London life went on as usual, and the 
strain at times was great. 

The difficulty of finis 1 ling the book arose first of all 
from its length. I well remember the depressed coun- 
tenance of Mr. George Smith who was to be to me 
through fourteen years afterwards the kindest of 
publishers and friends when I called one day in Water- 
loo Place, bearing a basketful of type-written sheets. 
' I am afraid you have brought us a perfectly unman- 
ageable book ! ' he said ; and I could only mournfully 
agree that so it was. It was far too long, and my heart 
sank at the thought of all there was still to do. But 
how patient Mr. Smith was over it ! and how generous 
in the matter of unlimited fresh proofs and endless 
corrections. I am certain that he had no belief in the 
book's success ; and yet on the ground of his interest in 
' Miss Bretherton ' he had made liberal terms with me, 
and all through the long incubation he was always 
indulgent and sympathetic. 

The root difficulty was of course the dealing with 
such a subject in a novel at all. Yet I was determined 
to deal with it so, in order to reach the public. There 
were great precedents Froude's ' Nemesis of Faith,' 
Newman's ' Loss and Gain/ Kingsley's ' Alton Locke,' 
for the novel of religious or social propaganda. And 
it seemed to me that the novel was capable of holding 
and shaping real experience of any kind, as it affects 
the lives of men and women. It is the most elastic, 
the most adaptable of forms. No one has a right to Bet 



230 

limits to its range. There is only one final test. Does it 
interest ? does it appeal ? Personally, I should add 
another. Does it make in the long run for beauty ? 
Beauty taken in the largest and most generous sense, 
and especially as including discord, the harsh and 
jangled notes which enrich the rest but still Beauty 
as Tolstoy was a master of it. 

But at any rate, no one will deny that interest is the 
crucial matter. 

There are five and twenty ways 

Of constructing tribal lays 

And every single one of them is right ! 

always supposing that the way chosen quickens the 
breath and stirs the heart of those who listen. But 
when the subject chosen has two aspects, the one intel- 
lectual and logical, the other poetic and emotional, the 
difficulty of holding the balance between them so that 
neither overpowers the other, and interest is maintained, 
is admittedly great. 

I wanted to show how a man of sensitive and noble 
character, born for religion, comes to throw ofi the 
orthodoxies of his day and moment, and to go out into 
the wilderness where all is experiment, and spiritual 
life begins again. And with him I wished to contrast 
a type no less fine of the traditional and guided mind 
and to imagine the clash of two such tendencies of 
thought, as it might affect all practical life, and especially 
the life of two people who loved each other. 

Here then to begin with were Robert and Cather- 
ine. Yes but Robert must be made intellectually 
intelligible. Closely looked at, all novel-writing is a 
sort of shorthand. Even the most simple and broadly 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' ROBERT ELSMERE ' 281 

human situation cannot really be told in full. Each 
reader in following it unconsciously supplies a vast 
amount himself. A great deal of the effect is owing 
to things quite out of the picture given things in the 
reader's own mind, first and foremost. The writer is 
playing on common experience ; and mere suggestion is 
often far more effective than analysis. Take the para- 
graph in TurgueniefTs ' Lisa ' it was pointed out to 
me by Henry James where Lavretsky on the point of 
marriage, after much suffering, with the innocent and 
noble girl whom he adores, suddenly hears that his 
intolerable first wife whom he had long believed dead is 
alive. Turguenieff, instead of setting out the situa- 
tion in detail, throws himself on the reader. ' It was 
dark. Lavretsky went into the garden, and walked up 
and down there till dawn/ 

That is all. And it is enough. The reader who is 
not capable of sharing that night walk with Lavretsky, 
and entering into his thoughts, has read the novel to no 
purpose. He would not understand, though Lavretsky 
or his creator were to spend pages on explaining. 

But in my case, what provoked the human and 
emotional crisis what produced the story was an 
intellectual process. Now the difficulty here in using 
suggestion which is the master tool of the novelist is 
much greater than in the case of ordinary experience. 
For the conscious use of the intellect on the accumu- 
lated data of life through history and philosophy is 
nob ordinary experience. In its more advanced forms, 
it only applies to a small minority of the human race. 

Still, in every generation, while a minority is making 
or taking part in the intellectual process itself, there 
is an atmosphere, a diffusion, produced around thorn, 



232 A WBITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

which affects many many thousands who have but little 
share but little conscious share, at any rate in the 
actual process. 

Here then is the opening for suggestion in connec- 
tion with the various forms of imagination which enter 
into Literature; with poetry, and fiction, which, as 
Goethe saw, is really a form of poetry. A.nd a quite 
legitimate opening. For to use it is to quicken the 
intellectual process itself, and to induce a larger 
number of minds to take part in it. 

The problem then, in intellectual poetry or fiction, is 
so to suggest the argument, that both the expert and 
the popular consciousness may feel its force. And to 
do this without overstepping the bounds of poetry or 
fiction ; without turning either into mere ratiocination, 
and so losing the ' simple, sensuous, passionate ' element 
which is their true life. 

It was this problem which made ' Robert Elsmere ' 
take three years to write instead of one. Mr. Gladstone 
complained in his famous review of it that a majestic 
system which had taken centuries to elaborate, and 
gathered into itself the wisest brains of the ages had gone 
down in a few weeks or months before the onslaught of 
the Squire's arguments ; and that if the Squire's argu- 
ments were few the orthodox arguments were fewer ! 
The answer to the first part of the charge is that the well- 
taught schoolboy of to-day is necessarily wiser in a 
hundred respects than Sophocles or Plato, since he re- 
presents not himself, but the brainwork of a hundred 
generations since those great men lived. And as to the 
second, if Mr. Gladstone had seen the first redactions 
of the book only if he had, I fear he would never have 
read it ! he would hardly have complained of lack of 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' BOBEBT ELSHEBE ' 238 

argument on either side, whatever he might have thought 
of its quality. Again and again I went on writing for 
hours, satisfying the logical sense ill one's self, trying to 
put the arguments on both sides as fairly as possible, 
only to feel despairingly at the end that it must all come 
out. It might be decent controversy ; but life, feeling, 
charm, humanity had gone out of it ; it had ceased 
therefore to be ' making/ to be literature. 

So that in the long run there was no other method 
possible than suggestion and, of course selection ! 
as with all the rest of one's material. That being 
understood, what one had to aim at was so to use 
suggestion as to touch the two zones of thought that 
of the scholar, and that of what one may call the edu- 
cated populace ; who without being scholars, were yet 
aware, more or less clearly, of what the scholars were 
doing. It is from these last that ' atmosphere ' and 
' diffusion ' come ; the atmosphere and diffusion which 
alone make wide penetration for a book illustrating 
an intellectual motive possible. I had to learn that, 
having read a great deal, I must as far as possible wipe 
out the traces of reading. All that could be done was 
to leave a few sign -posts as firmly planted as one could, 
so as to recall the real journey to those who already 
knew it, and for the rest, to trust to the floating interest 
and passion surrounding a great controversy the second 
religious battle of the nineteenth century with which 
it had seemed to me both in Oxford and in London that 
the intellectual air was charged. 

I grew very weary in the course of the long effort, 
and often very despairing. But there were omens of 
hope now and then ; first, a letter from my dear eldest 

brother, the late W. T. Arnold, who died in 1904, leaving 

Q 



234 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

a record as journalist and scholar which has been ad- 
mirably told by his intimate friend and colleague, Mr. 
now Captain C. E. Montague. He and I had shared 
many intellectual interests connected with the history 
of the Empire. His monograph on ' Roman Provincial 
Administration/ first written as an Arnold Essay, still 
holds the field ; and in the realm of pure literature, his 
one-volume edition of Keats is there to show his eager- 
ness for beauty and his love of English verse. I sent 
him the first volume in proof, about a year before the 
book came out, and awaited his verdict with much 
anxiety. It came one May day in 1889. I happened 
to be very tired and depressed at the moment, and I 
remember sitting alone for a little while with the letter 
in my hand, without courage to open it. Then at last 
I opened it. 

Warm congratulation Admirable ! Full of character and 
colour. . . . ' Miss Bretherton ' was an intellectual exercise. 
This is quite a different affair, and has interested and touched 
me deeply, as I feel sure it will all the world. The biggest 
thing that with a few other things of the same kind has 
been done for years. 

Well ! that was enough to go on with, to carry me 
through the last wrestle with proofs and revision. But 
by the following November, nervous fatigue made me 
put work aside for a few weeks, and we went abroad 
for rest, only to be abruptly summoned home by my 
mother's state. Thenceforward I lived a double life 
the one overshadowed by my mother's approaching 
death, the other amid the agitation of the book's appear- 
ance, and all the incidents of its rapid success. 

I have already told the story in the Introduction to 
the Library Edition of ' Robert Elsmere,' and I will only 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' ROBERT ELSMERE ' 23.5 

run through it here, as rapidly as possible, with a few 
fresh incidents and quotations. There was never any 
doubt at all of the book's fate, and I may repeat again 
that before Mr. Gladstone's review of it the three 
volumes were already in a third edition, the rush at all 
the libraries was in full course, and Matthew Arnold 
so gay and kind, in those March weeks before his own 
sudden death ! had clearly foreseen the rising boom. 
' I shall take it with me to Bristol next week and get 
through it there, I hope [but he didn't achieve it !]. 
It is one of my regrets not to have known the Green of 
your dedication/ And a week or two later he wrote an 
amusing letter to his sister describing a country-house 
party at beautiful Wilton, Lord Pembroke's home near 
Salisbury, and the various stages in the book reached 
by the members of the party, including Mr. Goschen, 
who were all reading it, and all talking of it. I never, 
however, had any criticism of it from him, except of 
the first volume, which he liked. I doubt very much 
whether the second and third volumes would have 
appealed to him. My uncle was a Modernist long before 
the time. In ' Literature and Dogma/ he threw out 
in detail much of the argument suggested in ' Robert 
Elsmere,' but to the end of his life he was a contented 
member of the Anglican Church, so far as attendances at 
her services was concerned, and belief in her mission of 
' edification ' to the English people. He had little 
sympathy with people who ' went out.' Like Mr. 
Jowett, he would have liked to see tne Church slowly 
reformed and ' modernised ' from within. So that with 
the main theme of my book that a priest who doubts 
must depart he could never have had full sympathy. 
And in the course of years as I showed in a later novel 



236 A WKITEK'S EECOLLECTIONS 

written twenty-four years after ' Robert Elamere * I 
feel that I have very much come to agree with him ! 
These great national structures that we call churches 
are too precious for iconoclast handling, if any other 
method is possible. The strong assertion of individual 
liberty within them, as opposed to the attempt to break 
them down from without : that seems to me now the 
hopeful course. A few more heresy trials like those 
which sprang out of ' Essays and Reviews/ or the per- 
secution of Bishop Colenso, would let in fresh life and 
healing nowadays, as did those old stirrings of the 
waters. The first Modernist bishop who stays in his 
place, forms a Modernist chapter and diocese around 
him, and fights the fight where he stands, will do more 
for liberty and faith in the Church, I now sadly believe, 
than those scores of brave ' forgotten dead ' who have 
gone out of her for conscience* sake, all these years. 

But to return to the book. All through March 
the tide of success was rapidly rising ; and when I was 
able to think of it, I was naturally carried away by the 
excitement and astonishment of it. But with the later 
days of March a veil dropped between me and the book. 
My mother's suffering and storm-beaten life was coming 
rapidly to its close, and I could think of nothing else. 
In an interval of slight improvement, indeed, when it 
seemed as though she might rally for a time, I heard Mr. 
Gladstone's name quoted for the first time in connection 
with the book. It will be remembered that he was 
then out of office, having been overthrown on the Home 
Rule Question in '86, and he happened to be staying for 
an Easter visit with the Warden of Keble, and Mrs. 
Talbot, who was his niece by marriage. I was with my 
mother about a mile away, and Mrs. Talbot, who came 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' EGBERT ELSMEBE ' 237 

to ask for news of her, reported to me that Mr. Gladstone 
was deep in the book. He was reading it pencil in 
hand, marking all the passages he disliked or quarrelled 
with, with the Italian ' Ma ! ' and those he approved 
of with mysterious signs which she who followed him 
through the volumes could not always decipher. Mr. 
Knowles, she reported, the busy editor of the Nineteenth 
Century, was trying to persuade the great man to review 
it. But ' Mr. G.' had not made up his mind. 

Then all was shut out again. Through many days 
my mother asked constantly for news of the book, and 
smiled with a flicker of her old brightness, when any- 
luing pleased her in a letter or review. But finally 
there came long hours when to think or speak of it 
seemed sacrilege. And on April 7 she died. 

The day after her death, I saw Mr. Gladstone at 
Keble. We talked for a couple of hours and then when 
I rose to go, he asked if I would come again on the 
following morning before he went back to town. I 
had been deeply interested and touched, and I went 
again for another long visit. My account, written 
down at the time, of the first day's talk, has been printed 
as an appendix to the Library Edition of the book. Of 
the second conversation, which was the more interesting 
of the two since we came to much closer quarters in it, 
my only record is the following letter to my husband : 

I have certainly had a wonderful experience last night and 
this morning ! Last night two hours' talk with Gladstone, 
this morning, again, an hour and a half's strenuous argument, 
during which the great man got quite white sometimes and 
tremulous with interest and excitement. . . . The talk this 
morning was a battle royal over the book and Christian evi- 



2C8 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

dences. He was very charming personally, though at times he 
looked stern and angry and white to a degree, so that I wondered 
sometimes how I had the courage to go on the drawn brows 
were so formidable ! There was one moment when he talked 
of ' trumpery objections,' in his most House of Commons 
manner. It was as I thought. The new lines of criticism 
are not familiar to him, and they really press him hard. He 
meets them out of Bishop Butler, and things analogous. But 
there is a sense, I think, that question and answer don't fit, 
and with it ever increasing interest and sometimes irrita- 
tion. His own autobiographical reminiscences were wonder- 
fully interesting, and his repetition of the 42nd psalm 
' Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks ' grand ! 

He said that he had never read any book on the hostile 
side written in such a spirit of ' generous appreciation ' of the 
Christian side. 

Yes those were hours to which I shall always look 
back with gratitude and emotion. Wonderful old 
man ! I see him still standing, as I took leave of him, 
one hand leaning on the table beside him, his lined, 
pallid face and eagle eyes, framed in his noble white hair, 
shining amid the dusk of the room. ' There are still 
two things left for me to do ! ' he said, finally, in answer 
to some remark of mine. ' One is to carry Home Rule 
the other is to prove the intimate connection between 
the Hebrew and Olympian revelations ! ' 

Could any remark have been more characteristic 
of that double life of his the life of the politician, and 
the life of the student which kept him fresh and eager 
to the end of his days ? Characteristic too of the 
amateurish element in all his historical and literary 
thinking. In dealing * with early Greek mythology, 
genealogy and religion/ says his old friend Lord Bryce, 
Mr. Gladstone's theories ' have been condemned by 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' EOBEKT ELSMERE ' 289 

the unanimous voice of scholars as fantastic/ Like his 
great contemporary, Newman, on whom a good deal 
of our conversation turned he had no critical sense of 
evidence ; and when he was writing on ' The Impreg- 
nable Eock of Scripture ' Lord Acton, who was staving 
at Hawarden at the time, ran after him in vain, with 
Welhausen or Kuenen under his arm, if haply he 
might persuade his host to read them. 

But it was not for that he was born ; and those who 
look back to the mighty work he did for his country in 
the forty years preceding the Home Rule split, can 
only thank the Powers ' that hold the broad Heaven ' 
for the part which the passion of his Christian faith, 
the eagerness of his love for letters for the Homer and 
the Dante he knew by heart played in refreshing and 
sustaining so great a soul. I remember returning, 
shaken and uplifted, through the April air, to the house 
where my mother lay in death ; and among my old 
papers lies a torn fragment of a letter thirty years 
old, which I began to write to Mr. Gladstone a few 
days later, and was too shy to send. 

This morning [says the letter, written from Fox How, 
on the day of my mother's funeral] we laid my dear 
Mother to rest in her grave among the mountains, and this 
afternoon I am free to think a little over what has 
befallen me personally and separately during this past week. 
It is not that I wish to continue our argument quite the 
contrary. As I walked home from Keble on Monday morning, 
I felt it a hard fate that I should have been arguing, rather 
than listening. . . . Argument perhaps was inevitable, but 
none the less I felt afterwards as though there were something 
incongruous and unfitting in it. In a serious discussion it 
seemed to me right to say plainly what I felt and believed ; 
but if in doing so, I have given pain, or expressed myself on 



240 A WKITEIl'S BECOLLECTIONS 

any point with a too great trenchancy and confidence, please 
believe that I regret it very sincerely. I shall always re- 
member our talks. If consciousness lasts 'beyond these 
voices ' my inmost hope as well as yours we shall know 
of all these things. Till then I cherish the belief that we 
are not so far apart as we seem. 

But there the letter abruptly ended, and was never 
sent. I probably shrank from the added emotion of 
sending it, and I iound it again the other day in a packet 
that had not been looked at for many years. I print 
it now as evidence of the effect that Mr. Gladstone's 
personality could produce on one forty years younger 
than himself, and in sharp rebellion at that time against 
his opinions and influence in two main fields religion 
and politics. 



Four days later, Monday, April 16, my husband 
came into my room with the face of one bringing ill 
tidings. * Matthew Arnold is dead ! ' My uncle, as 
many will remember, had fallen suddenly in a Liverpool 
street while walking with his wife to meet his daughter 
expected that day from America, and without a sound 
or movement had passed away. The heart disease 
which killed so many of his family was his fate also. 
A merciful one it always seemed to me, which took him 
thus suddenly and without pain from the life in which 
he had played so fruitful and blameless a part. That 
word ' blameless ' has always seemed to me particu- 
larly to fit him. And the quality to which it points, 
was what made his humour so sharp -tipped and so 
harmless. He had no hidden interest to serve no 
malice- not a touch, not a trace of cruelty -so that 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' KOBEET ELSMERE ' 241 

men allowed him to jest about their most sacred idols 
and superstitions and bore him no grudge. 

To me his death at that moment was an irreparable 
personal loss. For it was only since our migration to 
London that we had been near enough to him to see 
much of him. My husband and he had become fast 
friends, and his visits to Kussell Square, and our expedi- 
tions to Cobham where he lived, in the pretty cottage 
beside the Mole, are marked in memory with a very 
white stone. The only drawback to the Cobham visits 
were the ' dear, dear boys ' ! i.e. the dachshunds, Max 
and Geist, who, however adorable in themselves, had 
no taste for visitors and no intention of letting such 
intruding creatures intcreferc with their possession of 
their master. One would go down to Cobham, eager 
to talk to ' Uncle Matt ' about a book or an article 
covetous at any rate of some talk with him undisturbed. 
And it would all end in a breathless chase after Max, 
through field after field where the little wretch was 
harrying either sheep or cows, with the dear poet, hoarse 
with shouting, at his heels. The dogs were always 
in the party, talked to, caressed, or scolded exactly like 
spoilt children ; and the cat of the house was almost 
equally dear. Once, at Harrow, the then rulirg cat 
a torn broke his leg, and the house was in lamentation. 
The vet. was called in, and hurt him horribly. Then 
Uncle Matt ran up to town, met Professor Huxley afc the 
Athenaeum, and anxiously consulted him. ' I'll go down 
with you/ said Huxley. The two travelled back in- 
stanter to Harrow, and while Uncle Matt held the cat, 
Huxley who had begun life, let it be remembered, as 
Surgeon to the Rattlesnake ! examined him, the two 
black heads together. There is a rumour that Charles 



242 A WiilTEB'S EECOLLECTIONS 

Kingsley was included in the consultation. Finally 
the limb was put in splints, and left to nature. All 
went well. 

Nobody who knew the modest Cobhain cottage 
while its master lived, will ever forget it ; the garden 
beside the Mole, where every bush and flower-bed had 
its history ; and that little study-dressing-room where 
some of the best work in nineteenth century letters was 
done. Not a great multitude of books, but all cherished, 
all read, each one the friend of its owner. No untidiness 
anywhere ; the ordinary litter of an author's room was 
quite absent. For long after his death, the room re- 
mained just as he had left it, his coat hanging behind 
the door, his slippers beside his chair, the last letters he 
had received, and all the small and simple equipment of 
his writing-table ready to his hand, waiting for the 
master who would never know * a day of return/ In 
that room during fifteen years he wrote ' God and 
the Bible/ the many suggestive and fruitful Essays, 
including the American addresses, of his later years 
seeds, almost all of them, dropped into the mind of his 
generation for a future harvesting ; a certain number 
of poems, including the noble elegiac poem on Arthur 
Stanley's death, ' Geist's Grave ' and ' Poor Matthias ' ; 
a mass of writing on education which is only now 
helped by the warbeginning to tell on the English 
mind ; and the endlessly kind and gracious letters to 
all sorts and conditions of men and women the liter- 
ary beginner, the young teacher wanting advice, even 
the stranger greedy for an autograph. Every little 
playful note to friends or kinsfolk he ever wrote was 
dear to those who received it ; but he the most fastidi- 
ous of men -would have much disliked to see them all 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' ROBERT ELSMERE ' 243 

printed at length in Mr. RusselFs indiscriminate volumes. 
He talked to me once of his wish to make a small volume 
' such a little one ! ' of George Sand's best letters. 
And that is just what he would have wished for himself. 
Among the letters that reached me on my uncle's 
death was one from Mr. Andrew Lang denouncing 
almost all the obituary notices of him. ' Nobody seems 
to know that he was a poet \ ' cries Mr. Lang. But his 
poetic blossoming was really over with the sixties, and 
in the hubbub that arose round his critical and religious 
work his attempts to drive ' ideas ' into the English 
mind, in the sixties and seventies the main fact that 
he, with Browning and Tennyson, stood for English 
poetry, in the mid nineteenth century, was often obscured, 
and only slowly recognised. But it was recognised ; 
and he himself had never any real doubt of it, from the 
moment when he sent the ' Strayed Reveller ' to my 
father in New Zealand in 1849, to those later times when 
his growing fame was in all men's ears. He writes to 
his sister in 1878 : 

It is curious how the public is beginning to take my poems 
to its bosom after long years of comparative neglect. The 
wave of thought and change has rolled on until people begin to 
find a significance and an attraction in what had none for 
them formerly. 

But he had put it himself in poetry long before this 
slow emergence above the tumult and the shouting of 
the stars that are to shine upon the next generation. 
Mr. Garnett in the careful and learned notice of my 
uncle's life and work in the ' Dictionary of National 
Biography ' says of his poetry that ' most of it 'is 
1 immortal/ This indeed is the great, the mystic 



244 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

word that rings in every poet's ear from the beginning. 
And there is scarcely any true poet who is not certain 
that sooner or later his work will * put on immortality/ 
Matthew Arnold expressed, I think, his own secret 
faith, in the beautiful lines of his early poem, ' The 
Bacchanalia or the New Age.' 

The epoch ends, the world is still. 
The age has talk'd and work'd its fill 

And in the after- silence sweet, 
Now strife is hush'd, our ears doth meet, 
Ascending pure, the bell-like fame 
Of this or that down- trodden name, 
Delicate spirits, push'd away 
In the hot press of the noon-day. 
And o'er the plain, where the dead age 
Did its now silent warfare wage 
O'er that wide plain, now wrapt in gloom, 
Where many a splendour finds its tomb, 
Many spent fames and fallen nights 
The one or two immortal lights 
Eise slowly up into the sky 
To shine there everlastingly, 
Like stars over the bounding hill. 
The epoch ends, the world is still. 


It was on the way home from Laleham after my 
uncle's burial there, that Mr. George Smith gave me 
fresh and astonishing news of ' Robert Elsmere's ' 
success. The circulating libraries were being fretted 
to death for copies, and the whirlwind of talk was 
constantly rising. A little later in the same month 
of April, if I remember right, I was going from Water- 
loo to Gcdalming and Borough Farm, when, just as 
the train was starting, a ladv rushed along the platform 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' EGBERT ELSMERE ' 245 

waving a book aloft and signalling to another lady 
who was evidently waiting to Bee her off. ' I've got 
it I've got it ! ' she said triumphantly. ' Get in, 
Ma'am get in ! ' said the porter, bundling her into 
the compartment where I sat alone. Then she hung 
out of the window breathlessly talking. ' They told 
me no chance for weeks not the slightest ! Then 
just as I was standing at the counter, who should come 
up, but somebody bringing back the first volume. 
Of course it was promised to somebody else but as I 
was there, I laid hands on it, and here it is ! ' The 
train went off, my companion plunged into her book, 
and I watched her as she turned the pages of the 
familiar green volume. We were quite alone. I had 
half a mind to say something revealing ; but on the 
whole it was more amusing to sit still ! 

And meanwhile letters poured in. 

' I try to write upon you/ wrote Mr. Gladstone, 
'wholly despair of satisfying myself cannot quite 
tell whether to persevere or desist/ Mr. Pater let me 
know that he was writing on it for the Guardian. ' It is 
a chef d'auvre after its kind, and justifies the care you 
have devoted to it.' ' I see/ said Andrew Lang on 
April 30, ' that R. E. is running into as many editions 
as " The Rights of Man " by Tom Paine. . . . You 
know he is not my sort (at least unless you have a ghost, 
a murder, a duel and some savages)/ Burne Jones 
wrote with the fun and sweetness that made his letters 
a delight : 

Not one least bitter word in it ! threading your way 
through intricacies of parsons so fir.ely aid justly. ... As 
each new one came on the scene, I wondered if you would fall 
upon him and rend hiu, but you never do, , . . Ccrtuiuly 



246 A WRITEB'S EECOLLECTIONS 

I never thought I should devour a book about parsons my 
desires lying towards ' time upon once there was a dreadful 
pirate ' but I am back again five and thirty years and feeling 
softened and subdued with memories you have wakened up so 
piercingly and I wanted to tell you this. 

And in the same packet lie letters from the honoured 
and beloved Edward Talbot, now Bishop of Win- 
chester, Stopford Brooke the Master of Balliol Lord 
Justice Bowen Professor Huxley and so many, many 
more. Best of all, Henry James ! His two long letters 
I have already printed, naturally with his full leave 
and blessing, in the Library Edition of the novel. Not 

\j* / 

his the grudging and fault-finding temper that besets 
the lesser man when he comes to write of his contempor- 
aries ! Full of generous honour for what he thought 
good and honest work, however faulty, his praise kindled, 
and his blame no less. He appreciated so fully your 
way of doing it ; and his suggestion, alongside, of what 
would have been his way of doing it, was so stimulating 
touched one with so light a Socratic sting, and set 
a hundred thoughts on the alert. Of this delightful 
critical art of his his letters to myself over many years 
are one long illustration. 

And now * There is none like him none ! ' The 
honied lips are silent, and the helping hand at rest. 

With May appeared Mr. Gladstone's review ' the 
refined criticism of Robert -Elsmere ' ' typical of his 
strong points/ as Lord Bryce describes it : certainly 
one of the best things he ever wrote. I had no sooner 
read it than, after admiring it, I felt it must be 
answered. But it was desirable to take time to think 
how best to do it. At the moment my one desire 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' EGBERT ELSMERE ' 217 

was for rest and escape. At the beginning of June 
we took our two eldest children, aged eleven and 
thirteen, to Switzerland for the first time. Oh ! the 
delight of Glion ! with its hay-fields thick with 
miraculous spring flowers, the 'peak of Jaman deli- 
cately tall/ and that gorgeous pile of the Dent du 
Midi, bearing up the June heaven, to the east ! the 
joy of seeing the children's pleasure, and the relief of 
the mere physical rebound in the Swiss air, after the 
long months of strain and sorrow. My son a slip of a 
person in knicker-bockers walked over the Simplon as 
though Alps were only made to be climbed by boys of 
eleven ; and the Defile of Gondo, Domo d'Ossola, and 
beautiful Maggiore : they were all new and heavenly 
to each member of the party. Every year now there 
was growing on me the spell of Italy, the historic, the 
Saturnian land ; and short as this wandering was, I 
remember, after it was over, and we turned homeward 
across the St. Gothard, leaving Italy behind us, a new 
sense as of a hidden treasure in life of something sweet 
and inexhaustible always waiting for one's return ; 
like a child's cake in a cupboard, or the gold and silver 
hoard of Odysseus, that Athene helped him to hide 
in the Ithacan cave. 

. 

Then one day towards the end of June or the begin- 
ning of July, my husband put down beside me a great 
brown paper package which the post had just brought. 
' There's America beginning ! ' he said, and we turned 
over the contents of the parcel in bewilderment. A 
kind American friend had made a collection for me of 
the reviews, sermons and pamphlets that had been 
published so far about the book in the States, the 



248 

correspondences, the odds and ends of all kinds, grave 
and gay. Every mail, moreover, began to bring me 
American letters from all parts of the States. ' No 
book since " Uncle Tom's Cabin " has had so sudden and 
wide a diffusion among all classes of readers/ wrote an 
American man of letters ' and I believe that no other 
book of equal seriousness ever had so quick a hearing. 
I have seen it in the hands of nursery -ma ids and of 
shop-girls behind the counters; of frivolous young women 
who read every novel that is talked about ; of business 
men, professors, and students. . . . The proprietors 
of those large shops where anything from a pin to a 
piano can be bought, vie with each other in selling the 
cheapest edition. One pirate put his price even so 
low as four cents two pence ! * (Those, it will be 
remembered, were the days before Anglo-American 
copyright.) 

Oliver Wendell Holmes, to whom I was personally 
a stranger, wrote to me just such a letter as one might 
have dreamed of from the 'Autocrat': ' One of my 
elderly friends of long ago, called a story of mine you 
rr.ay possibly have heard of" Elsie Venner " " a 
medicated novel," and such she said she was not in the 
habit of reading. I liked her expression ; it titillated 
more than it tingled. " Robert Elsmere " I suppose 
we shculd all agree is " a medicated novel." But it 
is, I think, beyond question, the most effective and 
popular novel we have had since " Uncle Tom's Cabin." 

A man of science, apparently an agnostic, wrote 
severely ' I regret the popularity of " Robert Els- 
rr.ere " in this country. Our western people are like 
sheep in such matters. They will not see that the book 
was written for a people with a State Church on its 
hands, so that a gross exaggeration of the importance 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' ROBEET ELSMERE ' 249 

of religion was necessary. It will revive interest in 
theology and retard the progress of rationalism/ 

Another student and th hiker from one of the Uni- 
versities of the West, after a brilliant criticism of the 
novel, written about a year after its publication, winds 
up ' The book, here, has entered into the evolution 
of a nation/ 

Goldwin Smith my father's and uncle's early 
friend wrote me from Canada : 

The Grange, Toronto, Oct. 31, 1888. 

MY DEAR MRS. WARD, You may be amused by seeing 
what a stir you are making even in this sequestered nook of 
the theological world, and by learning that the antidote to 
you is ' Ben Hur.' I am afraid, if it were so, I should prefer 
the poison to the antidote. 

The state of opinion on this Continent is, I fancy, pretty 
much that to which Robert Elsmere would bring us Theism, 
with Christ as a model of character, but without real belief 
in the miraculous part of Christianity. Churches are still 
being every where built, money is freely subscribed, young 
men are pressing into the clerical profession, and religion shows 
every sign of vitality. I cannot help suspecting however that 
a change is not far off. If it comes, it will come with a 
vengeance ; for over the intellectual dead level of this 
democracy opinion courses like the tide running in over a 
flat. 

As the end of life draws near I feel like the Scotchman 
who, being on his deathbed when the trial of O'Conuell was 
going on, desired his Minister to pray for him that he might 
just live to see what came of O'Connell. A wonderful period 
of transition in all things however has begun, and I should 
like very much to see the result. However it is too likely 
that very rough times may be corning and that one will be 
just as well out of the way. 

... 

Yours most truly, 

GOLDWIN SMITH, 
R 



250 

Exactly twenty years from the date of this letter, 
I was in Toronto for the first time, and paid my homage 
to the veteran fighter, who, living as he did amid a 
younger generation hotly resenting his separatist and 
anti-Imperial views, and his contempt for their own 
ideal of an equal and permanent union of free states 
under the British flag, was yet generously honoured 
throughout the Dominion for his services to literature 
and education. He had been my father's friend at 
Oxford where he succeeded to Arthur Stanley's tutor- 
ship at University College and in Dublin. And when 
I first began to live in Oxford he was still Regius 
Professor, inhabiting a house very near that of my 
parents, which was well known to me afterwards through 
many years as the house of the Max Miillers. I can 
remember the catastrophe it seemed to all his Oxford 
friends, when he deserted England for America, de- 
spairing of the republic, as my father also, for a while in 
his youth, had despaired, and sick of what seemed to him 
the forces of reaction in English life. I was eighteen 
when ' Endymion ' came out, with Dizzy's absurd 
attack on the ' sedentary ' professor who was also a 
' social parasite.' It would be difficult to find two 
words in the English language more wholly and 
ludicrously inappropriate to Goldwin Smith ; and the 
furious letter to the Times in which he denounced ' the 
stingless insults of a coward ' might well have been 
left unwritten. But I was living then among Oxford 
Liberals, and under the shadow of Goldwin Smith's 
great reputation as historian and pamphleteer, and I 
can see myself listening with an angry and sympathetic 
thrill to my father as he read the letter aloud. Then 
came the intervening years, in which one learnt to look 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' KOBEET ELSMERE ' 251 

on Gold win Smith as par excdl-ence the great man 
' gone wrong/ on that vital question, above all, of a 
sane Imperialism. It was difficult after a time to 
keep patience with the Englishman whose most 
passionate desire seemed to be to break up the Empire, 
to incorporate Canada in the United States, to relieve 
us of India, that ' splendid curse/ to detach from us 
Australia and South Africa, and thereby to wreck for 
ever that vision of a banded commonwealth of free 
nations which for innumerable minds at home was fast 
becoming the romance of English politics. 

So it was that I went with some shrinking, yet 
still under the glamour of the old Oxford loyalty, to 
pay my visit at the Grange in 1908, walking thither 
from the house of one of the staunchest Imperialists 
in Canada, where I had been lunching. ' You are going 
to see Mr. Goldwin Smith ? ' my host had said. 
' I have not crossed his threshold for twenty years. I 
abhor his political views. All the same we are proud of 
him in Canada ! ' When I entered the drawing-room, 
which was rather dark though it was a late May after- 
noon, there rose slowly from its chair beside a bright 
fire, a figure I shall never forget. I had a fairly clear 
remembrance of Goldwin Smith in his earlier days. 
This was like his phantom, or, if one may say so, with- 
out disrespect his mummy. Shrivelled and spare, 
yet erect as ever, the iron-grey hair, closely-shaven 
beard, dark complexion, and black eyes still formidably 
alive, made on me an impression at once of extreme 
age, and unabated will. A prophet ! still delivering 
his message, but well aware that it found but few 
listeners in a degenerate world. He began immediately 
to talk politics, denouncing English Imperialism whether 



252 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

of the Tory or the Liberal type. Canadian loyalty to 
the Empire was a mere delusion. A few years, he 
said, would see the Dominion merged in the United 
States ; and it was far best it should be so. He spoke 
with a bitter, almost a fierce energy, as though perfectly 
conscious that, although I did not contradict him, I did 
not agree with him ; and presently to my great relief 
he allowed the talk to slip back to old Oxford days. 

Two years later he died, still confident of the future 
as lie dreamt it. The ' very rough times ' that he 
foresaw have indeed come upon the world. But, as to 
the rest, I wish he could have stood with me, eight 
years after this conversation, on the Scherpenberg 
Hill, then held by a Canadian division, the approach 
to its summit guarded by Canadian sentries, and have 
looked out over that plain where Canadian and British 
graves, lying in their thousands side by side, have for 
ever sealed in blood the union of the elder and the 
younger nations. 

As to the circulation of ' Eobert Elsmere/ I have 
never been able to ascertain the exact figures in 
America, but it is probable from the data I have 
that about half a million copies were sold in the 
States within a year of the book's publication. In 
England, an edition of 5000 copies a fortnight was 
the rule for many months after the one -volume 
edition appeared ; hundreds of thousands have been 
circulated in the sixpenny and sevenpenny editions ; it 
has been translated into most foreign tongues ; and it 
is still, after thirty years, a living book. Fifteen years 
after its publication, M. Brunetiere, the well-known 
editor of the Revue des deux Mondes, and leader 



THE PUBLICATION OF ' EGBERT ELSMERE ' 253 

in some sort of the Catholic reaction in France, began 
a negotiation with me for the appearance of a French 
translation of the whole or part of the book in his 
Revue. ' But how ' I asked him (we were sitting 
in his editor's sanctum, in the old house of the Rue de 
FUniversite) * could it possibly suit you, or the Revue, 
to do anything of the kind ? And now after fifteen 
years ? ' 

But according to him, the case was simple. When 
the book first appeared, the public of the Revue could 
not have felt any interest in it. France is a logical 
country a country of clear-cut solutions. And at 
that time either one was a Catholic or a free thinker. 
And if one was a Catholic, one accepted from the Church 
say, the date of the book of Daniel, as well as every- 
thing else. Renan indeed left the Church thirty years 
earlier because he came to see with certainty that the 
book of Daniel was written under Antiochus Epiphanes, 
and not when his teachers at St. Sulpice said it was 
written. But while the secular world listened and 
applauded, the literary argument against dogma made 
very little impression on the general Catholic world 
for many years. 

'But now,' said M. Brunetiere, 'everything is different. 
Modernism has arisen. It is penetrating the Seminaries. 
People begin to talk of it in the streets. And ' Robert Elsmere ' 
is a study in Modernism or at any rate it has so many affini- 
ties with Modernism, that now the French public \vould be 
interested.' 

The length of the book, however, could not be got over, 
and the plan fell through. But I came away from my 
talk with a remarkable man, not a little stirred. For it 



254 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

had seemed to show that with all its many faults 
and who knew them better than I ? my book had yet 
possessed a certain representative and pioneering force ; 
and that, to some extent at least, the generation in 
which it appeared had spoken through it. 



CHAPTER XIII 

FIEST VISITS TO ITALY 

I HAVE already mentioned in these pages that I was 
one of the examiners for the Spanish Taylorian scholar- 
ship at Oxford in 1883, and again in 1888. But perhaps 
before I go further in these Recollections, I may put 
down here somewhat out of its place a reminiscence 
connected with the first of these examinations, which 
seems to me worth recording. My Spanish colleague in 
1883 was, as I have said, Don Pascual Gayangos, well 
known among students for his ' History of Mohammedan 
Dynasties in Spain/ for his edition of the Correspond- 
ence of Cardinal Cisneros, and other historical work. 
A propos of the examination, he came to see me in 
Russell Square, and his talk about Spain revived in me, 
for the time, a fading passion. Senor Gayangos was 
born in 1809, so that in 1883 he was already an old man, 
though full of vigour and work. He told me the fol- 
lowing story. Unfortunately I took no contemporary 
note. I give it now, as I remember it, and if anyone 
who knew Don Pascual, or any student of Shakespearean 
lore, can correct and amplify it, no one will be 
better pleased than I. He said that as quite a 
young man, somewhere in the thirties of the last 
century, he was travelling through Spain to England, 

265 



256 A WKITER'S KECOLLECTIONS 

where, if I remember right, he had relations with Sir 
Thomas Phillipps, the ardent book and MSS. collector, 
so many of whose treasures are now in the great 
libraries of Europe. Sir Thomas employed him in the 
search for Spanish MSS. and rare Spanish books. I 
gathered that at the time to which the story refers 
Gayangos himself was not much acquainted with Eng- 
lish or English literature. On his journey north from 
Madrid to Burgos, which was of course in the days 
before railways, he stopped at Valladolid for the night, 
and went to see an acquaintance of his, the newly- 
appointed librarian of an aristocratic family having 
a ' palace ' in Valladolid. He found his friend in the 
old library of the old house, engaged in a work of de- 
struction. On the floor of the long room was a large 
brasero in which the new librarian was burning up a 
quantity of what he described as useless and miscel- 
laneous books, with a view to the rearrangement of the 
library. The old sheepskin or vellum bindings had 
been stripped off, while the printed matter was burn- 
ing steadily, and the room was full of smoke. There 
was a pile of old books whose turn had not yet come 
lying on the floor. Gayangos picked one up. It was 
a volume containing the plays of Mr. William Shake- 
speare, and published in 1623. In other words, it was 
a copy of the First Folio, and, as he declared to me, in 
excellent preservation. At that time he knew nothing 
about Shakespeare bibliography. He was struck how- 
ever by the name of Shakespeare, and also by the fact 
that, according to an inscription inside it, the book had 
belonged to Count Gondomar, who had himself lived 
in Valladolid, and collected a large library there. But 
his friend the librarian attached no importance to the 



FIEST VISITS TO ITALY 257 

book, and it was to go into the common holocaust with 
the rest. Gayangos noticed particularly, as he turned 
it over, that its margins were covered with notes in a 
seventeenth-century hand. 

He continued his journey to England, and presently 
mentioned the incident to Sir Thomas Phillipps, and 
Sir Thomas's future son-in-law, Mr. Halliwell after- 
wards Halliwell-Phillipps. The excitement of both 
knew no bounds. A First Folio which had belonged 
to Count Gondomar, Spanish Ambassador to England 
up to 1622 and covered with contemporary marginal 
notes ! No doubt a copy which had been sent out to 
Gondomar from England ; for he was well acquainted 
with English life and letters, and had collected much 
of his library in London. The very thought of such 
a treasure perishing barbarously in a bonfire of waste- 
paper was enough to drive a bibliophile out of his wits. 
Gayangos was sent back to Spain post haste. But 
alack, he found a library swept and garnished, no trace 
of the volume he had once held there in his hand, and 
on the face of his friend the librarian only a frank and 
peevish wonder that anybody should tease him with 
questions about such a trifle. 

But just dream a little ! Who sent the volume ? 
Who wrote the thick marginal notes ? An English 
correspondent of Gondomar's ? Or Gondomar himself, 
who arrived in England three years before Shakespeare's 
death, was himself a man of letters, and had probably 
seen most of the plays ? 

In the few years which intervened between his with- 
drawal from England, and his own death (1626) did he 
annotate the copy, storing there what he could remem- 
ber of the English stage, and of ' pleasant Willy ' himself 



258 

perhaps, during his two sojourns in London ? And 
was the book overlooked as English and of no importance 
in the transfer of Gondomar's own library, a hundred 
and sixty years after his death, to Charles III of 
Spain ? and had it been sold perhaps for an old 
song and with other remnants of Gondomar's 
books, just for their local interest, to some Valladolid 
grandee ? 

Above all, did those marginal notes which Gayangos 
had once idly looked through contain, perhaps, though 
the First Folio, of course, does not include the Poems, 
some faint key to the perennial Shakespeare mysteries 
to Mr. W. H., and the ' dark lady/ and all the 
impenetrable story of the Sonnets ? 

If so, the gods themselves took care that the veil 
should not be rent. The secret remains. 

Others abide our question Thou art free. 
We ask and ask. Thou standest and art still, 
Out-topping knowledge. 


One other recollection of the * Robert Elsmere ' year 
may fitly end my story of it. In September we spent 
an interesting afternoon at Hawarden the only time 
I ever saw ' Mr. G.' at leisure, amid his own books and 
trees. We drove over with Sir Robert and Lady Cunlifie, 
Mr. Gladstone's neighbours on the Welsh border with 
whom we were staying. Sir Robert, formerly an ardent 
Liberal, had parted from Mr. Gladstone in the Home 
Rule crisis of '86, and it was the first time they had 
called at Hawarden since the split. But nothing could 
have been kinder than the Gladstones' reception of 
them and of us. * Mr. G.' and I let theology alone ! 
and he was at his best and brightest, talking books and 



FIEST VISITS TO ITALY 259 

poetry, showing us the octagonal room he had built out 
for his 60,000 selected letters among them ' hundreds 
from the Queen ' his library, the park, and the old 
keep. As I wrote to my father, his amazing intellectual 
and physical vigour, and the alertness with which, lead- 
ing the way, he ' skipped up the ruins of the keep/ 
were enough ' to make a Liberal Unionist thoughtful/ 
Ulysses was for the time in exile, but the ' day of 
return ' was not far off. 

Especially do I remember the animation with which 
he dwelt on the horrible story of Damiens, executed 
with every conceivable torture for the attempted assas- 
sination of Louis Quinze. He ran through the catalogue 
of torments so that we all shivered, winding up with a 
contemptuous ' And all that, for just pricking the skin 
of that scoundrel Louis XV/ 

I was already thinking of some reply both to Mr. 
Gladstone's article, and to the attack OD ' Robert 
Elsmere ' in the Quarterly ; but it took me longer than I 
expected ; and it was not till March in the following year 
(1889) that I published ' The New Reformation/ a Dia- 
logue, in the Nineteenth Century. Into that dialogue I 
was able to throw the reading and the argument which 
had been of necessity excluded from the novel. Mr. 
Jowett was nervous about it, and came up on purpose 
from Oxford to persuade me, if he could, not to write it. 
His view and that of Mr. Stopford Brooke was that 
a work of art moves on one plane, and historical or 
critical controversy on another, and that a novel cannot 
be justified by an essay. But my defence was not an 
essay ; I put it in the form of a conversation, and made 
it as living and varied as I could. By using this particu- 
lar form, I was able to give the traditional as well as the 



260 A WRITHE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

critical case with some fulness, and I took great pains 
with both. From a recently published letter, I see that 
Lord Acton wrote to Mr. Gladstone that the role played 
by the orthodox anti-rational and wholly fanatical 
Newcome in the novel belonged ' to the infancy of art/ 
so little could he be taken as representing the orthodox 
case. I wonder ! I had very good reasons for Newcome. 
There are plenty of Newcomes in the theological litera- 
ture of the last century. To have provided a more 
rational and plausible representative of orthodoxy 
would, I think, have slackened the pace and chilled the 
atmosphere of the novel. After all, what really sup- 
plied ' the other side/ was the whole system of things 
in which the readers of the book lived and moved the 
ideas in which they had been brought up, the books 
they read, the churches in which they worshipped, the 
sermons to which they listened every week. The novel 
challenged this system of things ; but it was always 
there to make reply. It was the eternal sous-entendu 
of the story, and really gave the story all its force. 

But, in the dialogue, I could put the underlying con- 
flict of thought into articulate and logical form, and 
build up, in outline at least, the history of ' a new learn- 
ing/ When it was published, the dear Master, with 
a sigh of relief, confessed that it had ' done no harm/ 
and ' shewed a considerable knowledge of critical theo- 
logy/ I too felt that it had done no harm rather 
that it had vindicated my right to speak not as an 
expert and scholar to that I never pretended for a 
moment but as the interpreter of experts and scholars 
who had something to say to the English world, and of 
whom the English world was far too little aware. In 
the preface to one of the latest editions of his Bamptou 



FIRST VISITS TO ITALY 261 

Lectures, Canon Liddon wrote an elaborate answer to 
it, which, I think, implies that it was felt to have weight ; 
and if Lord Acton had waited for its appearance he 
might not, perhaps, have been so ready to condemn the 
character of Newcome as belonging 'to the infancy of 
art/ That Newcomers type might have been infinitely 
better presented is indeed most true. But in the scheme 
of the book, it is right. For the ultimate answer to the 
critical intellect, or, as Newman called it, the ' wild living 
intellect of man/ when it is dealing with Christianity 
and miracle, is that reason is not the final judge is 
indeed, in the last resort, the enemy, and must at some 
point go down, defeated and trampled on. ' Ideal 
Ward/ or Archdeacon Denison, or Mr. Spurgeon and 
not Dr. Figgis, or Dr. Creighton are the apologists 
who in the end hold the fort. 

But with this analysis of what may be called the 
intellectual presuppositions of ' Robert Elsmere/ my 
mind began to turn to what I believed to be the other 
side of the Greenian or Modernist message i.e. that life 
itself, the ordinary human life and experience of every 
day as it has been slowly evolved through history, is 
the true source of religion, if man will but listen to the 
message in his own soul, to the voice of the Eternal 
Friend, speaking through Conscience, through Society, 
through Nature. Hence ' David Grieve/ which was 
already in my mind within a few months of the publi- 
cation of ' Robert Elsmere/ We were at Borough Farm 
when the vision of it first came upon me. It was a 
summer evening of extraordinary beauty, and I had 
been wandering through the heather and the pine- woods. 
' The country ' to quote an account written some 



262 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

years ago 'was drenched in sunset; white towering 
thunder-clouds descending upon and mingling with 
the crimson of the heath, the green stretches of bracken, 
the brown pools upon the common, everywhere a rosy 
suffusion, a majesty of light interweaving heaven and 
earth, and transfiguring all dear familiar things the 
old farmhouse, the sand-pit where the children played 
and the sand-martins nested, the wood-pile by the 
farm-door, the phloxes in the tumble-down farmyard, 
the cottage down the lane. After months of rest, the 
fount of mental energy which had been exhausted in 
me the year before, had filled again. I was eager to 
be at work, and this time on something ' more hopeful, 
positive, and consoling ' than the subject of the earlier 
book. 

A visit to Derbyshire in the autumn gave me some of 
the setting for the story. Then I took the first chapters 
abroad during the winter to Valescure, and worked at 
them in that fragrant, sunny spot, making acquaintance 
the while with a new and delightful friend, Emily Law- 
less, the author of ' Hurrish ' and ' Grania,' and of some 
few poems that deserve, I think, a long life in English 
anthologies. She and her most racy, most entertaining 
mother, old Lady Clone urry, were spending the winter 
at Va-escure, and my young daughter and I found them 
a great resource. Lady Cloncurry, who was a member 
of an old Galway family, the Kirwans of Castle 
Hackett, seemed to me a typical specimen of those 
Anglo- Irish gentry who have been harshly called the 
' English garrison ' in Ireland, but who were really in 
the last century the most natural and kindly link 
between the two countries. So far as I knew them, 



FIEST VISITS TO ITALY 268 

they loved both, with a strong preference for Ireland. 
All that English people instinctively resent in Irish 
character, its dreamy or laughing indifference towards 
the ordinary business virtues thrift, prudence, tidiness, 
accuracy they had been accustomed to, even where 
they had not been infected with it, from their child- 
hood. They were not Catholics, most of them, and, 
so far as they were landlords, the part played by 
the priests in the Land League agitation tried them 
sore. But Miss Lawless's ' Grania ' is there to show 
how delicate and profound might be their sympathy 
with the lovely things in Irish Catholicism, and her 
best poems ' The Dirge of the Munster Forest/ or 
' After Aughrim ' give a voice to Irish suffering and 
Irish patriotism which it would be hard to parallel in 
the Nationalist or rebel literature of recent years. The 
fact that they had both nations in their blood, both 
patriotisms in their hearts, infused a peculiar pathos 
often into their lives. 

Pathos, however, was not a word that seemed, at 
first sight at any rate, to have much to do with Lady 
Cloncurry. She was the most energetic and sprightly 
grande dame, as I remember her, small, with vivid black 
eyes and hair, her head always swathed in a becoming 
black lace coif, her hands in black mittens. She and 
her daughter Emily amused each other perennially, 
and were endless good company besides for other people. 
Lady Cloncurry 's clothes varied very little. She had 
an Irish contempt for too much pains about your 
appearance, and a great dislike for grande tenue. When 
she arrived at an Irish country-house, of which the 
hostess told me the story, she said to the mistress of 



264 A WKITEB'S EECOLLECTIONS 

the house, on being taken to her room ' My dear, you 
don't want me to come down smart ? I'm sure you 
don't ! Of course I've brought some smart gowns. 
They (meaning her daughters) make me buy them. 
But they'll just do for my maid to show your maid ! ' 
And there on the wardrobe shelves they lay through- 
out her visit. 

At Valescure we were within easy reach of Cannes, 
where the Actons were settled at the Villa Madeleine. 
The awkwardness of the trains prevented us from see- 
ing as much of them as we had hoped ; but I remember 
some pleasant walks and talks with Lord Acton, and 
especially the vehement advice he gave us, when my 
husband joined us, and we started on a short, a very 
short, flight to Italy for my husband had only a 
meagre holiday from the Times ' Go to Rome ! Never 
mind the journeys. Go ! You will have three days 
there, you say ? Well, to have walked through Rome, 
to have spent an hour in the Forum, another on the 
Palatine ; to have seen the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, 
and St. Peter's; to have climbed the Janiculum and 
looked out over the Alban hills and the Campagna 
and you can do all that in three days well ! life is 
not the same afterwards. If you only had an afternoon 
in Rome, it would be well worth while. But three 
days \ ' 

We laughed, took him at his word, and rushed on 
for Rome. And on the way we saw Perugia and Assisi 
for the first time, dipping into spring as soon as we got 
south of the Apennines, and tasting that intoxication 
of Italian sun in winter which turns northern heads. 
Of our week in Rome, I remember only the first over- 







///,/ 



FIEST VISITS TO ITALY 265 

whelming impression as of something infinitely old 
and pagan, through which Christianity moved almost 
like a parvenu, amid an elder generation of phantom 
presences, already grey with time long before Calvary : 
that, and the making of a few new friends. Of 
these friends, one, who was to hold a lasting place in 
my admiration and love through after years, shall be 
mentioned here Contessa Maria Pasolini. 

Contessa Maria for some thirty years has played 
a great role in the social and intellectual history of 
Italy. She is the daughter of one of the leading busi- 
ness families of Milan, sister to the Marchese Ponti, who 
was for long Sindaco of that great city, and intimately 
concerned in its stormy industrial history. She married 
Count Pasolini, the head of an old aristocratic family 
with large estates in the Romagna, whose father was 
President of the first Senate of United Italy. It was in 
the neighbourhood of the Pasolini estates that Garibaldi 
took refuge after '48 ; and one may pass through them 
to reach the lonely hut in which Anita Garibaldi 
died. 

Count Pasolini's father was also one of Pio Nono's 
Liberal Ministers, and the family, at the time at any 
rate of which I am speaking, combined Liberalism 
and sympathies for England with an enlightened and 
ardent Catholicism. I first made friends with Con- 
tessa Maria when we found her, on a cold Febru- 
ary day, receiving in an apartment in the Piazza dei 
Santi Apostoli rather gloomy rooms, to which her 
dark head and eyes, her extraordinary expressiveness 
and grace, and the vivacity of her talk, seemed to lend 
a positive brilliance and charm. In her I first came to 

know, with some intimacy, a cultivated Italian woman, 

s 



266 A WEITEE'S BECOLLECTIONS 

and to realise what a strong kindred exists between the 
English and the Italian educated mind. Especially, I 
think, in the case of the educated women of both nations. 
I have often felt, in talking to an Italian woman friend, 
a similarity of standards, of traditions and instincts, 
which would take some explaining, if one came to think 
it out. Especially on the practical side of life, the side 
of what one may call the minor morals and judgments ; 
which are often more important to friendship and under- 
standing than the greater matters of the law. How an 
Italian lady manages her servants, and brings up her 
children, her general attitude towards marriage, politics, 
books, social or economic questions : in all these fields 
she is, in some mysterious way, much nearer to the 
Englishwoman than the Frenchwoman is. Of course, 
these remarks do not apply to the small circle of ' black ' 
families in Italy, particularly in Rome, who still hold 
aloof from the Italian kingdom and its institutions. 
But the Liberal Catholic, man or woman, who is both 
patriotically Italian and sincerely religious, will dis- 
cuss anything or anybody in heaven or earth, and 
just as tolerantly as would Lord Acton himself. They 
are cosmopolitans, and yet deep rooted in the Italian 
soil. Contessa Maria, for instance, was in 1889 still 
near the beginnings of what was to prove for twenty- 
five years the most interesting salon in Rome. Every- 
body met there : grandees of all nations, ambassadors, 
ecclesiastics, men of literature, science, archaeology, art, 
politicians, and diplomats Contessa Pasolini was equal 
to them all, and her talk, rapid, fearless, picturesque, 
full of knowledge, yet without a hint of pedantry, 
gave a note of unity to a scene that could hardly have 
been more varied or, in less skilful hands, more full of 



FIKST VISITS TO ITALY 267 

jarring possibilities. But later on, when I knew her 
better, I saw her also with peasant folk, with the country 
people of the Campagna and the Alban hills. And here 
one realised the same ease, the same sympathy, the 
same instinctive and unerring success, as one might 
watch with delight on one of her ' evenings ' in the 
Palazzo Sciarra. When she was talking to a peasant 
woman on the Alban ridge, something broad and big 
and primitive seemed to come out in her, something 
of the ' Magna parens/ the Saturnian land ; but some- 
thing too that our English women, who live in the 
country and care for their own people, also possess. 

But I was to see much more of Contessa Maria and 
Roman society in later years, especially when we were 
at the Villa Barberini, and I was writing ' Eleanor ' in 
1899. Now, I will only recall a little saying of the 
Contessa's at our first meeting, which lodged itself in 
memory. She did not then talk English fluently, as she 
afterwards came to do ; but she was learning English, 
with her two boys, from a delightful English tutor, and 
evidently pondering English character and ways 
' Ah, you English ! ' I can see the white arm and 
hand, with its cigarette, waving in the darkness of the 
old Roman apartment the broad brow, the smiling 
eyes, and glint of white teeth * You English ! Why 
don't you talk ? why won't you talk ? If French 
people come here, there is no trouble. If I just tear 
up an envelope and throw down the pieces they will 
talk about it a whole evening and so well \ But you 
English ! you begin and then you stop one must 
always start you again always wind you up ! ' 

Terribly true 1 But in her company, even we halting 



268 A WEITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

English learnt to talk, in our bad French, or what- 
ever came along. 

The summer of "89 was filled with an adventure to 
which I still look back with unalloyed delight, which 
provided me moreover with the setting and one of the 
main themes of ' Marcella.' We were at that time half 
way through the building of a house at Haslemere, 
which was to supersede Borough Farm. We had grown 
out of Borough, and were for the moment houseless, 
so far as summer quarters were concerned. And for 
my work's sake, I felt that eagerness for new scenes 
and suggestions which is generally present, I think, 
in the story-teller of all shades. Suddenly, in a house- 
agent's catalogue, we came across an astonishing ad- 
vertisement. Hampden House, on the Chiltern Hills 
the ancestral home of John Hampden, of Ship-Money 
Fame, was to let for the summer, and for a rent not 
beyond our powers. The new Lord Buckinghamshire, 
who had inherited it, was not then able to live in it. 
It had indeed, as we knew, been let for a while, 
some years earlier, to our old friends, Sir Mountstuart 
and Lady Grant Duff, before his departure for the 
Governorship of Madras. The agents reported that 
it was scantily furnished, but quite habitable ; and 
without more ado, we took it ! I have now before me 
the letter in which I reported our arrival, in mid- July, 
to my husband, detained in town by his Times work. 

Hampden is enchanting ! more delightful than even I 
thought it would be, and quite comfortable enough. Of course 
we want a multitude of things (baths, wine-glasses, tumblers, 
cans, etc. !) but those I can hire from Wycombe. Our great 



FIEST VISITS TO ITALY 269 

deficiency is lamps ! Last night we crept about in this vast 
house, with hardly any light. ... As to the ghost, Mrs. 
Duval (the housekeeper) scoffs at it ! The ghost room is the 
tapestry room, from which there is a staircase down to the 
breakfast room. A good deal of the tapestry is loose, and 
when there is any wind it flaps and flaps. Hence all the 
tales. . . . The servants are rather bewildered by the size of 
everything, and like me were almost too excited to sleep. 
. . . The children are wandering blissfully about, exploring 
everything. 

And what a place to wander in ! After we left it, 
Hampden was restored, beautified and re-furnished. 
It is now, I have no doubt, a charming and comfortable 
country-house. But when we lived in it for three 
months in its half-furnished and tatterdemalion con- 
dition it was Romance pure and simple. The old 
galleried hall, the bare rooms, the neglected pictures 
among them the ' Queen Elizabeth/ presented to the 
owner of Hampden by the Queen herself after a visit 
the grey walls of King John's garden, and just beyond 
it the little church where Hampden lies buried ; the 
deserted library on the top floor, running along the 
beautiful garden front, with books in it that might have 
belonged to the patriot himself, and a stately full-length 
portrait painted about 1600 which stood up, torn 
and frameless, among lumber of various kinds, the 
portrait of a beautiful lady in a flowered dress, walking 
in an Elizabethan garden ; the locked room, opened 
to us occasionally by the agent of the property, which 
contained some of the ancestral treasures of the house 
the family bible among them, with the births of John 
Hampden and his cousin, Oliver Cromwell, recorded 
on the same flyleaf ; the black cedars outside, and the 



270 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

great glade in front of the house, stretching downwards 
for half a mile towards the ruined lodges, just visible 
from the windows : all this mingling of nature and 
history with the slightest gentlest touch of pathos and 
decay, seen too under the golden light of a perfect 
summer, sank deep into mind and sense. 

Whoever cares to turn to the first chapters of 
' Marcella ' will find as much of Hampden as could be 
transferred to paper Hampden as it was then in 
the description of Mellor. 

Our old and dear friend, Mrs. J. R. Green, the widow 
of the historian, and herself the most distinguished 
woman-historian of our time, joined us in the venture. 
But she and I both went to Hampden to work. I 
set up in one half-dismantled room, and she in another, 
with the eighteenth-century drawing-room between us. 
Here our books and papers soon made home. I was 
working at ' David Grieve ' : she, if I remember right, at 
the brilliant book on ' English Town Life ' she brought 
out in 1891. My husband came down to us for long 
week-ends, and as soon as we had provided ourselves 
with the absolute necessaries of life, visitors began to 
arrive. Professor and Mrs. Huxley, Sir Alfred Lyall, 
M. Jusserand, then ' Conseiller d'Ambassade ' under 
M. Waddington, now the French Ambassador to 
Washington, Mr. and Mrs. Lyulph Stanley (now Lord 
and Lady Sheffield), my first cousin H. 0. Arnold- 
Forster, afterwards War Minister in Mr. Balfour's 
Cabinet, and his wife, Mrs. Graham Smith, Laura 
Lyttelton's sister, and many kinsfolk. In those days 
Hampden was six miles from the nearest railway station ; 
the Great Central Railway which now passes through 
the valley below it was not built, and all round us 



FIEST VISITS TO ITALY 271 

stretched beechwoods and commons and lanes, un- 
touched since the days of Roundhead and Cavalier, 
where the occasional sound of wood-cutters in the 
beech solitudes, was often, through a long walk, the 
only hint of human life. What good walks and talks 
we had in those summer days ! My sister had married 
Professor Huxley's eldest son, so that with him 
and his wife we were on terms always of the closest 
intimacy and affection. * Pater ' and ' Moo/ as all 
their kith and kin and many of their friends called them, 
were the most racy of guests. He had been that year 
pursuing an animated controversy in the Nineteenth 
Century with Dr. Waco, now Dean of Canterbury, who 
iad also about a year before belaboured the author 
of ' Robert Elsmere ' in the Quarterly Review. The 
Professor and I naturally enjoyed dancing a little on 
our opponents when there was none to make reply ! 
as we strolled about Hampden ; but there was never 
a touch of bitterness in Huxley's nature, and there 
couldn't have been much in mine at that moment 
life was so interesting, and its horizon so full of light 
and colour. Of his wife * Moo ' who outlived him 
many years, how much one might say ! In this very 
year, 1889, Huxley wrote to her from the Canaries 
whither he had gone alone for his health : 

Catch me going out of reach of letters again. I have been 
horridly anxious. Nobody children or anyone else can be 
to me what you are. Ulysses preferred his old woman to 
immortality, and this absence has led me to see that he was as 
wise in that as in other things. 

They were indeed lovers to the end. He had waited 
and served for her eight years in his youth, and her 



272 A WBITEK'S EECOLLECTIONS 

sunny, affectionate nature, with its veins both of humour 
and stoicism, gave her man of genius exactly what he 
wanted. She survived him for many years, living her 
own life at Eastbourne, climbing Beachy Head in all 
weathers, interested in everything, and writing poems 
of little or no technical merit, but raised occasionally 
by sheer intensity of feeling about her husband 
into something very near the real thing. I quote these 
verses from a privately -printed volume she gave me : 

If you were here, and I were where you lie, 

Would you, beloved, give your little span 

Of life remaining unto tear and sigh ? 

No ! setting every tender memory 

Within your breast, as faded roses kept 

For giver's sake, of giver when bereft, 

Still to the last the lamp of work you'd burn 

For purpose high, nor any moment spurn. 

So, as you would have done, I fain would do 

In poorer fashion. Ah, how oft I try, 

Try to fulfil your wishes, till at length 

The scent of those dead roses steals my strength. 

As to our other guests, to what company would not 
Sir Alfred Lyall have added that touch of something 
provocative and challenging which draws men and 
women after it, like an Orpheus-music ? I can see him 
sitting silent, his legs crossed, his white head bent, the 
corners of his mouth drooping, his eyes downcast, like 
some one spent and wearied, from whom all virtue had 
gone out. Then someone, a man he liked but still 
oftener a woman would approach him, and the whole 
figure would wake to life a gentle, whimsical, melan- 
choly life ; yet possessed of a strange spell and pungency. 
Brooding, sad and deep, seemed to me to hold his 



FIEST VISITS TO ITALY 273 

inmost mind. The fatalism and dream of those Oriental 
religions to which he had given so much of his scholar's 
mind, had touched him profoundly. His poems express 
it in mystical and sombre verse, and his volumes of 
' Asiatic Studies ' contain the intellectual analysis of that 
background of thought from which the poems spring. 

Yet no one was shrewder, more acute than Sir 
Alfred in dealing with the men and politics of the 
moment. He swore to no man's words, and one felt 
in him not only the first-rate administrator, as shown 
by his Indian career, but also the thinker's scorn for 
the mere party point of view. He was an excellent 
gossip, of a refined and subtle sort ; he was the soul 
of honour ; and there was that in his fragile and delicate 
personality which earned the warm affection of many 
friends. So gentle, so absent-minded, so tired he often 
seemed ; and yet I could imagine those grey-blue eyes 
of Sir Alfred's answering inexorably to any public or 
patriotic call. He was a disillusioned spectator of 
the ' great mundane movement,' yet eternally interested 
in it ; and the man who loves this poor human life of 
ours, without ever being fooled by it, at least after 
youth is past, has a rare place among us. We forgive 
his insight, because there is nothing in it pharisaical. 
And the irony he uses on us, we know well that he has 
long since sharpened on himself. 

When I think of M. Jusserand playing tennis on the 
big lawn at Hampden, and determined to master it, 
like all else that was English, memory leads one back 
behind that pleasant scene to earlier days still. We 
first knew the future Ambassador as an official of the 
French Foreign Office, who spent much of his scanty 



274 A WEITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

holidays in a scholarly pursuit of English literature. 
In Russell Square we were close to the British Museum, 
where M. Jusserand, during his visits to London, was 
deep in Chaucerian and other problems, gathering the 
learning which he presently began to throw into a series 
of books on the English centuries from Chaucer to 
Shakespeare. Who introduced him to us I cannot 
remember, but during his work at the Museum he would 
drop in sometimes for luncheon or tea ; so that we soon 
began to know him well. Then, later, he came to Lon- 
don as ' Conseiller d'Ambassade ' under M. Waddington, 
an office which he filled till he became French Minister 
to Denmark in 1900. Finally, in 1904, he was sent as 
French Ambassador to the United States, and there we 
found him in 1908, when we stayed for a delightful few 
days at the British Embassy with Mr. and Mrs. Bryce. 
It has always been a question with me, which 
of two French friends is the more wonderful English 
scholar M. Jusserand, or M. Andre Chevrillon, Taine's 
nephew and literary executor, and himself one of the 
leaders of French letters ; with whom, as with M. 
Jusserand, I may reckon now some thirty years of 
friendship. No one could say that M. Jusserand 
speaks our tongue exactly like an Englishman. He 
does much better. He uses it always of course with 
perfect correctness and fluency to express French 
ideas, and French wit, in a way as nearly French as 
the foreign language will permit. The result is extra- 
ordinarily stimulating to our English wits. The slight 
differences both in accent and phrase keep the ear 
attentive and alive. New shades emerge ; old cliches 
are broken up. M. Chevrillon has much less accent, 



FIKST VISITS TO ITALY 275 

and his talk is more flowingly and convincingly English ; 
for which no doubt a boyhood partly spent in England 
accounts. While for vivacity and ease, there is little 
or nothing to choose. 

But to these two distinguished and accomplished 
men, England and America owe a real debt of gratitude. 
They have not by any means always approved of our 
national behaviour. M. Jusserand during his official 
career in Egypt was, I believe, a very candid critic of 
British administration and British methods, and in the 
days of our early acquaintance with him I can remember 
many an amusinp and caustic sally of his at the expense 
of our politicians and our foreign policy. 

M. Chevrillon took the Boer side in the South African 
war, and took it with passion. All the same, the friend- 
ship of both the diplomat and the man of letters for 
this country, based upon their knowledge of her, and 
warmly returned to them by many English friends, has 
been a real factor in the growth of that broad-based 
sympathy which we now call the Entente. M. Chevril- 
lon's knowledge of us is really uncanny. He knows 
more than we know ourselves. And his last book about 
us ' I/Angleterre et la Guerre ' is not only photo- 
graphically close to the fact*, but full of a spiritual 
sympathy which is very moving to an English reader. 
Men of such high gifts are not easily multiplied in any 
country. But looking to the future of Europe, the 
more that France and England and America can 
cultivate in their citizens some degree at any rate 
of that intimate understanding of a foreign nation, 
which shines so conspicuously in the work of these two 
Frenchmen, the safer will that future be. 



CHAPTEK XIV 
AMALFI AND ROME. HAMPDEN AND ' MARCELLA ' 

IT was in November 1891 that I finished ' David 
Grieve/ after a long wrestle of more than three years. 
I was tired out, and we fled south for rest to Rome, 
Naples, Amain, and Ravello. The Cappucini hotel 
at Amalfi, Madame Palumbo's inn at Ravello, remain 
with me as places of pure delight, shone on even in 
winter by a more than earthly sun. 

Madame Palumbo was, as her many guests remember, 
an Englishwoman, and showed a special zeal in making 
English folk comfortable. And can one ever forget 
the sunrise over the Gulf of Salerno from the Ravello 
windows ? It was December when we were there ; yet 
nothing spoke of winter. From the inn perched on a 
rocky point above the coast one looked straight down 
for hundreds of feet, through lemon-groves and olive 
gardens, to the blue water. Flaming over the moun- 
tains rose an unclouded sun, shining on the purple coast, 
with its innumerable rock-towns ' Tot congesta manu 
praruptis oppida saxis ' and sending broad paths over 
the ' wine-dark ' sea. Never, I think, have I felt the 
glory and beauty of the world more rapturously, 

276 



1 MABCELLA ' 277 

more 'painfully for there is pain in it ! than when 
one was standing alone on a December morning, at a 
window which seemed to make part of the precipitous 
rock itself, looking over that fairest of scenes. 

From Ravello we went back to Rome, and a short 
spell of its joys. What is it makes the peculiar pleasure 
of society in Rome ? A number of elements, of course, 
enter in. The setting is incomparable ; while the clash- 
ing of great world policies, represented by the diplo- 
mats, and of the main religious and Liberal forces of 
Europe, as embodied in the Papacy and modern Italy, 
kindles a warmth and animation in the social air which 
matches the clearness of the Roman day, when the 
bright spells of the winter weather arrive, and the 
omnipresent fountains of the Eternal City flash the 
January or February sun through its streets and piazzas. 
Ours however, on this occasion, was only a brief stay. 
Again we saw Contessa Maria, this time in the stately 
setting of the Palazzo Sciarra; and Count Ugo Balzani, an 
old friend of ours and of the Creightons since Oxford days, 
historian and thinker, and besides, one of the kindest and 
truest of men. But the figure perhaps which chiefly 
stands out in memory as connected with this short visit 
is that of Lord Dufferin, then our Ambassador in Rome. 
Was there ever a greater charmer than Lord Dufferin ? 
In the sketch of the * Ambassador ' in ' Eleanor, ' there 
are some points caught from the living Lord Dufferin, 
so closely indeed that before the book came out, I sent 
him the proofs, and asked his leave which he gave 
at once, in one of the graceful little notes of which he 
was always master. For the diplomatic life and suc- 
cesses of Lord Dufferin are told in many official docu- 
ments, and in the biography of him by Sir Alfred Lyall ; 



278 

but the key to it all lay in cradle gifts that are hard to 
put into print. 

In the first place he was even at sixty-five wonder- 
fully handsome. He had inherited the beauty, and also 
the humour and the grace of his Sheridan ancestry. For 
his mother, as all the world knows, was Helen Sheridan, 
one of the three famous daughters of Tom Sheridan, 
the dramatist's only son. Mrs. Norton, the innocent 
heroine of the Melbourne divorce suit, was one of his 
aunts, and the ' Queen of Beauty ' at the Eglinton 
Tournament then Lady Seymour, afterwards Duchess 
of Somerset was the other. His mother's memory 
was a living thing to him all his life ; he published her 
letters and poems ; and at Clandeboye, his Ulster home, 
in ' Helen's Tower ' he had formed a collection of 
memorials of her which he liked to show to those of 
whom he made friends. ' You must come to Clande- 
boye, and let me show you Helen's Tower,' he would 
8%y eagerly, and one would answer with hopeful vague- 
ness. But for me, the time never came. My personal 
recollections of him, apart from letters, are all connected 
with Home, or Paris, whither he was transferred the 
year after we saw him at the Roman Embassy, in 
December 1891. 

It was therefore his last winter at Rome, and he had 
only been Ambassador there a little more than two years 
since he ceased to be Viceroy of India in 1889. But 
he had already won everybody's affection. The social 
duties of the British Embassy in Rome what with the 
Italian world in all its shades, the more or less permanent 
English colony, and the rush of English tourists through 
the winter and spring seemed to me by no means easy. 
But Lady Dufferin's dignity and simplicity, and Lord 



' MAECELLA ' 279 

Bufferings temperament, carried them triumphantly 
through the tangle. Especially do I remember the 
informal Christmas dance, to which we took, by the 
Ambassador's special wish, our young daughter of 
seventeen, who was not really ' out/ And no sooner 
was she in the room, shyly hiding behind her elders, 
than he discovered her. I can see him still, as he 
made her a smiling bow, his noble grey head, and 
kind eyes, the blue ribbon crossing his chest. ' You 
promised me a dance ! ' And so for her first wait/, in 
her first grown-up dance, D. was well provided, nervous 
as the moment was. 

There is a passage in ' Eleanor,' which commemor- 
ates first this playful sympathy and tact which made 
Lord DufFerin so delightful to all ages, and next, an 
amusing conversation with him that I remember a 
year or two later in Paris. As to the first Lucy 
Foster, the young American girl, is lunching at the 
Embassy : 

' Ah ! my dear lady ! ' said the Ambassador, ' how few 
things in this world one does to please one's self ! This is 
one of them.' 

Lucy flushed with a young and natural pleasure. She was 
on the Ambassador's left, and he had just laid his wrinkled 
hand for an instant on hers with a charming and paternal 
freedom. 

' Have you enjoyed yourself ? have you lost your heart to 
Italy ? ' said her host stooping to her. . . . 

' 1 have been in fairyland,' said she shyly, opening her blue 
eyes upon him. ' Nothing can ever be like it again.' 

' No because one can never be twenty again,' said the 
old man, sighing. ' Twenty years hence, you will wonder 
where the magic came from. Never mind just now, anyway, 
the world's your oyster.' 



280 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Then he looked at her a little more closely. ... He 
missed some of that quiver of youth and enjoyment he had 
felt in her before ; and there were some very dark lines under 
the beautiful eyes. What was wrong ? Had she met the 
man the appointed one ? 

He began to talk to her with a kindness that was at 
once simple and stately. 

' We must all have our ups and downs,' he said to her 
presently. ' Let me just give you a word of advice. It'll carry 
you through most of them. Remember you are very young, 
and I shall soon be very old/ 

He stopped and surveyed her. His eyes blinked through 
their blanched lashes. Lucy dropped her fork and looked back 
at him with smiling expectancy. 

' Learn Persian ! ' said the old man, in an urgent whisper 
' and get the dictionary by heart ! ' 

Lucy still looked wondering. 

' I finished it this morning,' said the ambassador, in her 
ear. * To-morrow I shall begin it again. My daughter 
hates the sight of the thing. She says I overtire myself, and 
that when old people have done their work they should take a 
nap. But I know that if it weren't for my dictionary, I should 
have given up long ago. When too many tiresome people dine 
here in the evening or when they worry me from home I 
take a column. But generally half a column's enough good 
tough Persian roots, and no nonsense. Oh ! of course I can 
read Hafiz and Omar Khayyam, and all that kind of thing. 
But that's the whipped cream. That don't count. W T hat 
one wants is something to set one's teeth in. Latin verse 
will do. Last year I put half Tommy Moore into hendeca- 
syllabics. But my youngest boy, who's at Oxford, said he 
wouldn't be responsible for them so I had to desist. And 
I suppose the mathematicians have always something handy. 
But, one way or another, one must learn one's dictionary. 
It comes next to cultivating one's garden/ 

The pretty bit of kindness to a very young girl, 
in 1892, which I have described, suggested part of 



MARCELLA ' 281 

this conversation ; and I find the foundation of the 
rest in a letter written to my father from Paris in 
1896. 

We had a very pleasant three days in Paris . . . including 
a most agreeable couple of hours with the DufTerins. Lord 
Dufferin shewed me a number of relics of his Sheridan ancestry, 
and wound up by taking me into his special little den and telling 
me Persian stories with excellent grace and point ! He is wild 
about Persian just now, and has just finished learning the whole 
dictionary by heart. He looks upon this as his chief tttlassement 
from official work. Lady Dufferin. however, does not approve 
of it at all ! His remarks to Humphry as to the ignorance 
and inexperience of the innumerable French Foreign Ministers 
with whom he has to do, were amusing. An interview with 
Berthelut (the famous French chemist and friend of Eenao) 
was really, he said, a deplorable business. Berthelot (Foreign 
Minister 1891-92) knew everything but what he should have 
known as French Foreign Minister. And Jusseraud's testi- 
mony was practically the same ! He is now acting head of 
the French Foreign Office, and has had three Ministers in 
bewildering succession to instruct in their duties, they being 
absolutely new to everything. Now however in Hanotaux 
he has got a strong chief at last. 

I recollect that in the course of our exploration of the 
Embassy, we pa883d through a room with a large cheval- 
glass, of the Empire period. Lord Dufferin paused be- 
fore it, reminding me that the house had once belonged 
to Pauline Borghese. ' This was her room and this 
glass was hers. I often stand before it and evoke 
her. She is there somewhere if one had eyes to see ! ' 

And I thought, in the darkening room, as one looked 
into the shadows of the glass, of the beautiful shameless 
creature as she appaars in the Canova statue in the 
Villa Borghese, or as David has fixed her, immortally 
young, in the Louvre picture. 



282 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

But before I leave this second Roman visit of ours, 
let me recall one more figure in the entourage of the 
Ambassador a young attache, fair-haired, with all 
the good looks and good manners that belong to the 
post, and how much else of solid wit and capacity the 
years were then to find out. I had already seen Mr. 
Rennell Rodd in the Tennant circle, where he was 
everybody's friend. Soon we were to hear of him in 
Greece, whence he sent me various volumes of poems 
and an admirable study of the Morea, then in Egypt, 
and afterwards in Sweden ; while through all these 
arduous years of war (I write in 1917) he has been 
Ambassador in that same Rome where we saw him as 
second Secretary in 1891. 

The appearance of ' David Grieve ' in February 
1892, four years after ' Robert Elsmere/ was to me 
the occasion of very mixed feelings. The public took 
warmly to the novel from the beginning ; in its English 
circulation and its length of life it has, I think, very 
nearly equalled ' Robert Elsmere ' ; only after twenty- 
five years has it now fallen behind its predecessor. It has 
brought me correspondence from all parts and all classes, 
more intimate and striking perhaps than in the case of 
any other of my books. But of hostile reviewing at the 
moment of its appearance, there was certainly no lack ! 
It was violently attacked in The Scots Observer, then 
the organ of a group of Scotch Conservatives and 
literary men, with W. E. Henley at their head, and 
received unfriendly notice from Mrs. Oliphant in Black- 
wood. The two Quarterlies opened fire upon it, and 
many lesser guns. A letter from Mr. Meredith 



* MARCELLA ' 283 

Townsend, the very able, outspoken and wholly inde- 
pendent colleague of Mr. Hutton in the editorship of 
the Spectator, gave me some comfort under these on- 
slaughts ! 

I have read every word of ' David Grieve.' Owing to the 
unusual and unaccountable imbecility of the reviewing (the 
Atlienmum man, for example, does not even comprehend that 
he is reading a biography !) it may be three months or so before 
the public fully takes hold, but 1 have no doubt of the ultimate 
verdict. . . . The consistency of the leading characters is 
wonderful, and there is not one of the twenty-five, except 
possibly Dora who is not human enough that is not the 
perfection of lifelikeness. . . . Louie is a vivisection. I have 
the misfortune to know her well . . . and I am startled page 
after page by the accuracy of the drawing. 

Walter Pater wrote : ' It seems to me to have all 
the forces of its predecessor at work in it, with perhaps 
a mellower kind of art/ Henry James reviewed it 
so generously ! so subtly ! in the English Illustrated. 
Stopford Brooke, and Bishop Creighton, wrote to me 
with a warmth and emphasis that soon healed the 
wounds of the Scots Observer ; and that the public was 
with them, and not with my castigators, was quickly 
visible from the wide success of the book. 

Some of the most interesting letters that reached me 
about it were from men of affairs, who were voracious 
readers but not makers of books such as Mr. Goschen, 
who ' could stand an examination on it ' ; Sir James 
afterwards Lord Hannen, one of the Judges of the 
Parnell Commission ; and Lord Derby, the Minister who 
seceded, with Lord Carnarvon, from Disraeli's Govern- 
ment in 1878. We had made acquaintance not long 
before with Lord Derby, through his niece Lady Winifred 



284 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

Byng (now Lady Burghclere), to whom we had all lost 
our hearts children and parents at Lucerne in 1888. 
There are few things I regret more in relation to London 
social life than the short time allowed me by fate wherein 
to see something more of Lord Derby. If I remember 
right, we first met him at a small dinner-party at Lady 
Winifred's in 1891, and he died early in 1893. But he 
made a very great impression upon me, and though he 
was generally thought to be awkward and shy in general 
society, in the conversations I remember with him 
nothing could have been more genial or more attractive 
than his manner. He had been at Rugby under my 
grandfather, which was a link to begin with ; though 
he afterwards went to Cambridge, and never showed, 
that I know of, any signs of the special Rugby influence 
which stamped men like Dean Stanley and Clough. 
And yet, of the moral independence and activity which 
my grandfather prized and cultivated in his boys, there 
was certainly no lack in Lord Derby's career. For the 
greater part of his political life he was nominally a 
Conservative, yet the rank and file of his party only 
half trusted a mind trained by John Stuart Mill, and 
perpetually brooding on social reform. As Lord Stan- 
ley, his close association and personal friendship with 
Disraeli during the Ministries and politics of the mid- 
nineteenth century have been well brought out in Mr. 
Buckle's last volume of the Disraeli ' Life.' But the 
ultimate parting between himself and Dizzy was 
probably always inevitable. For his loathing of 
adventurous policies of all kinds, and of any increase 
whatever in the vast commitments of England, was 
sure at some point to bring him into conflict with the 



'MARCELLA' 285 

imagination or, as we may now call it, the prescience of 
Disraeli. It was strange to remember, as one watched 
him at the dinner-table, that he had been offered the 
throne of Greece in 1862. 

' If he accepts the charge,' wrote Dizzy to Mrs. Bridges 
Williams, ' I shall lose a powerful friend and colleague. It 
is a dazzling adventure for the House of Stanley, but they are 
not an imaginative race, and I fancy they will prefer Knowsley 
to the Parthenon, and Lancashire to the Attic plain. It is a 
privilege to live in this age of rapid and brilliant events. 
What an error to consider it an utilitarian age ! It is one of 
infinite romance. Thrones tumble down and crowns are offered 
like a fairy tale.' 

Sixteen years later came his famous resignation in 
1878, when the Fleet was ordered to the Dardanelles, 
and Lord Derby, as he had now become, then Foreign 
Secretary, refused to sanction a step that might lead 
to war. That, for him, was the end as far as Toryism 
was concerned. In 1880 he joined Mr. Gladstone, but 
only to separate from him on Home Rule in 1886 ; and 
when I first knew him, in 1891, he was leader of the 
Liberal Unionist peers in the House of Lords. A little 
later he became President of the great Labour Com- 
mission of 1892, and before he could see Gladstone's 
fresh defeat in 1893, he died. 

Speculatively he was as open-minded as a reader 
and follower of Mill might be expected to be. He had 
been interested in ' Robert Elsmere/ and the discussion 
of books and persons to which it led him in conversation 
with me, showed him fully aware of the new forces abroad 
in literature and history. Especially interested, too, 
as to what Labour was going to make of Christianity, 



286 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

and well aware how could lie fail to be, as Chairman 
of that great, that epoch-making Commission of 1892 ? 
of the advancing strength of organised labour on all 
horizons. He appeared to me too, as a typical North- 
countryman a son of Lancashire, proud of the great 
Lancashire towns, and thoroughly at home in the 
life of the Lancashire countryside. He could tell a 
story in dialect admirably. And I realised that he 
had thought much in his balanced, reticent way on 
matters in which I was then groping : how to humanise 
the relations between employer and employed, how to 
enrich and soften the life of the workman, how, in short, 
to break down the barrier between modern industrialism 
and the stored-up treasures art, science, thought of 
man's long history. 

So that when ' David Grieve ' was finished, I sent it 
to Lord Derby, not long after our first meeting, in no 
spirit of empty compliment, and I have always kept 
his letter in return as a memento of a remarkable person- 
ality. Some day I hope there may be a Memoir of him ; 
for none has yet appeared. He had not the charm, the 
versatility, the easy classical culture of his famous father 
' the Rupert of debate/ But with his great stature 
he was six foot two his square head and strong smooth- 
shaven face, he was noticeable everywhere. He was 
a childless widower when I first knew him ; and made 
the impression of a lonely man, for all his busy political 
life and his vast estates. But he was particularly 
interesting to me, as representing a type I have once or 
twice tried to draw of the aristocrat standing between 
the old world, before railways and the first Reform Bill, 
which saw his birth, and the new world and new men 



' MARCELLA ' 287 

of the later half of the century. He was traditionally 
with the old world ; by conviction and conscience, 
I think, with the new ; yet. not sorry, probably, that 
he was to see no more than its threshold ! 

1892, it will be remembered, was the first year of 
American copyright ; and the great success of ' David 
Grieve* in America, following on the extraordinary 
vogue there of * Robert Elsmere/ in its pirated editions, 
brought me largely increased literary receipts. It seemed 
that I was not destined after all to ' ruin my publishers/ 
as I had despondently foretold in a letter to my husband 
before the appearance of ' Robert Elsmere ' ; but that 
with regular work, I might look forward to a fairly 
steady income. We therefore felt justified in seizing an 
opportunity brought to our notice by an old friend who 
lived in the neighbourhood, and migrating to a house 
north of London, in the real heart of Middle England. 
After leaving Borough Farm, we had built a house on a 
hill near Haslemere, looking south over the blue and 
purple Weald; but two years' residence had convinced me 
that Surrey was almost as populous as London, and that 
real solitude for literary work was not to be found there 
at any rate in that corner of it where we had chosen 
to build. And also, while we were nursing our newly- 
planted shrubberies of baby pines and rhododendrons, 
there was always in my mind, as I find from letters of 
the time, a discontented yearning for ' an old house and 
old trees ' ! We found both at Stocks, whither we 
migrated in the summer of 1892. The little estate had 
then been recently inherited by Mrs. Grey, mother of 
Sir Edward Grey, now Lord Grey of Falloden. We 



288 

were at first tenants of the house and grounds, but in 
1896 we bought the small property from the Greys, and 
have now been for more than twenty years its happy 
possessors. The house lies on a high upland, under 
one of the last easterly spurs of the Chilterns. It was 
built in 1780 (we re-built it in 1908) in succession to a 
much older house of which a few fragments remain, 
and the village at its gates had changed hardly at all in 
the hundred years which preceded our arrival. A few 
new cottages had been built ; more needed to be built ; 
and two residents, intimately connected with the past 
of the village, had built houses just outside it. But 
villadom did not exist. The village was rich in old 
folk, in whom were stored the memories and traditions 
of its quiet past. The postmaster, ' Johnny Dolt/ who 
was nearing his eighties, was the universal referee on 
all local questions rights of way, boundaries, village 
customs and the like ; and of some of the old women 
of the village, as they were twenty-five years ago, I 
have drawn as faithful a picture as I could in one or 
two chapters of ' Marcella/ 

But the new novel owed not only much of its scenery 
and setting, but also its main incident, to the new house. 
We first entered into negotiation for Stocks in January 
1892. In the preceding December two gamekeepers 
had been murdered on the Stocks property, in a field 
under a big wood, less than a mile from the house ; 
and naturally the little community, as it lay in its 
rural quiet beneath its wooded hills, was still, when 
we first entered it, under the shock and excitement of 
the tragedy. We heard all the story on the spot, and 
then viewed it from another point of view the socio- 



'MAKCELLA' 289 

political when we went down from London to stay at 
one of the neighbouring country-houses, in February, 
and found the Home Secretary, Mr. Matthews, afterwards 
Lord Llandaff, among the guests. The trial was over, 
the verdict given, and the two murderers were under 
sentence of death. But there was a strong agitation 
going on in favour of a reprieve ; and what made the 
discussion of it, in this country-house party, particularly 
piquant was that the case, at that very moment, was 
a matter of close consultation between the judge and 
the Home Secretary. It was not easy therefore to 
talk of it in Mr. Matthews' presence. Voices dropped 
and groups dissolved when he appeared. Mr. Asquith, 
who succeeded Mr. Matthews that very year as Home 
Secretary, was also, if I remember right, of the party ; 
and there was a good deal of rather hot discussion of the 
game-laws, and of English landlordism in general. 

With these things in my mind, as soon as we had 
settled into Stocks, I began to think of ' Marcella/ I 
wrote the sketch of the book in September '92, and 
finished it in February '94. Many things went to the 
making of it : not only the murdered keepers, and the 
village talk, not only the remembered beauty of Hamp- 
den which gave me the main setting of the story, but 
a general ferment of mind, connected with much else 
that had been happening to me. 

For the New Brotherhood of ' Robert Elsmere ' 
had become in some sort a realised dream; so far as 
any dream can ever take to itself the practical gar- 
ments of this puzzling world. To show that the faith 
of Green and Martin eau and Stopford Brooke was a 
faith that would wear and work to provide a home for 



290 A WKITEB'S EECOLLECTIONS 

the new learning of a New Reformation, and a practical 
outlet for its enthusiasm of humanity were the chief 
aims in the minds of those of us who in 1890 founded 
the University Hall Settlement in London. I look 
back now with emotion on that astonishing experiment. 
The scheme had taken shape in my mind during the 
summer of 1889, and in the following year I was able 
to persuade Dr. Martineau, Mr. Stopford Brooke, my 
old friend, Lord Carlisle, and a group of other religious 
Liberals, to take part in its realisation. We held a 
crowded meeting in London, and an adequate subscrip- 
tion list was raised without difficulty. University Hall 
in Gordon Square was taken as a residence for young 
men, and was very soon filled. Continuous teaching 
by the best men available, from all the churches, on 
the history and philosophy of religion was one half the 
scheme ; the other half busied itsell with an attempt to 
bring about some real contact between brain and manual 
workers. We took a little dingy hall in Marchmont 
Street, where the residents of the Hall started clubs 
and classes, Saturday mornings for children and the 
like. The foundation of Toynbee Hall the Universities 
Settlement in East London, in memory of Arnold 
Toynbee, was then a fresh and striking fact in social 
history. A spirit of fraternisation was in the air, an 
ardent wish to break down the local and geographical 
barriers that separated rich from poor, East End from 
West End. The new venture in which I was interested 
attached itself therefore to a growing movement. The 
work in Marchmont Street grew and prospered. Men 
and women of the working class found in it a real centre 
of comradeship, and the residents at the Hall in Gordon 



1 MAECELLA ' 291 

Square, led by a remarkable man of deeply religious 
temper and Quaker origin, the late Mr. Alfred Robinson, 
devoted themselves in the evenings to a work marked 
by a very genuine and practical enthusiasm. 

Soon it was evident that larger premises were 
wanted. It was in the days when Mr. Passmore 
Edwards was giving large sums to institutions of 
different kinds in London, but especially to the founding 
of public libraries. He began to haunt the shabby hall 
in Marchmont Street, and presently offered to build us 
a new hall there for classes and social gatherings. But 
the scheme grew and grew, in my mind as in his. And 
when the question of a site arose, we were fortunate 
enough to interest the practical and generous mind of 
the chief ground landlord of Bloomsbury, the Duke of 
Bedford. With him I explored various sites in the 
neighbourhood, and finally the Duke offered us a site 
in Tavistock Place, on most liberal terms, he himself 
contributing largely to the building, granting us a 
999 years' lease, and returning us the ground-rent. 

And there the Settlement now stands, the most 
beautiful and commodious Settlement building in Lon- 
don, with a large garden behind it, made by the Duke out 
of various old private gardens, and lent to the Settle- 
ment for its various purposes. Mr. Passmore Edwards 
contributed 14,000 to its cost, and it bears his name. 
It was opened in 1898 by Lord Peel and Mr. Morley, 
and for twenty years it has been a centre of social 
work and endeavour in St. Pancras. From it have 
sprung the Physically Defective Schools under the 
Education Authority, now so plentiful in London, and 
so frequent in our other large towns. The first school 



292 A WKITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

of the kind was opened at this Settlement in 1898 ; and 
the first school ambalance in London was given to us 
by Sir Thomas Barlow for our Cripple Children. The 
first Play Centre in England began there in 1898 ; 
and the first Vacation School was held there in 1902. 
During those twenty years the Settlement has 
played a large part in my life. We have had our fail- 
ures and our successes ; and the original idea has been 
much transformed with time. The Jowett Lectureship, 
still devoted to a religious or philosophical subject, 
forms a link with the religious lecturing of the past ; 
but otherwise the Settlement, like the Master him- 
self, stands for the liberal and spiritual life, without 
definitions or exclusions. Up to 1915, it was, like Toyn- 
bee Hall, a Settlement for University and professional 
men who gave their evenings to the work. Since 1915 it 
has been a Women's Settlement under a distinguished 
head Miss Hilda Oakeley, M.A., formerly Warden of 
King's College for Women. It is now full of women 
residents and full of work. There is a Cripple School 
building belonging to the Settlement, to the East ; our 
cripples still fill the Duke's garden with the shouts of 
their play ; and hundreds of other children crowd into 
the building every evening in the winter, or sit under 
the plane trees in summer. The charming hall of the 
Settlement is well attended every winter week by people 
to whom the beautiful music that the Settlement gives 
is a constant joy ; the Library dedicated to the memory 
of T. H. Green, has 400 members ; the classes and popu- 
lar lectures have been steadily he'd even during this 
devastating war ; the Workers' Educational Association 
carry on their work under our roof ; mothers bring their 



MAECELLA ' 293 

babies to the Infant Welfare Centre in the afternoon ; 
there are orchestral and choral classes, boys' clubs 
and girls' clubs. Only one club has closed down 
the Men's Club, which occupied the top floor of 
the Invalid Children's School before the war. Their 
members are scattered over France, Salonika, Egypt 
and Mesopotamia, and the Roll of Honour is a long 
one. 

Twenty years ! How clearly one sees the mis- 
takes, the lost opportunities of such an enterprise ! 
But so much is certain that the Settlement has been 
an element of happiness in many many lives. It has had 
scores of devoted workers, in the past men and women 
to whom the heart of its founder goes out in gratitude. 
And I cannot imagine a time when the spacious and 
beautiful house and garden, with all the activities that 
have a home there, will not be necessary and welcome 
to St. Pancras. I see it, in my dreams at least, half a 
century hence, when all those who first learnt from it 
and in it have gone their way, still serving ' the future 
hour ' of an England re-born. To two especially among 
the early friends of the Settlement let me turn back with 
grateful remembrance George Howard, Lord Carlisle, 
whom I have already mentioned, and Stopford Brooke. 
Lord Carlisle was one of the most liberal and most 
modest of men, an artist himself, and the friend of 
artists. On a Sunday in Russell Square, when the 
drawing-room door opened to reveal his fine head, and 
shy, kind eyes, one felt how well worth while it was to 
stay at home on Sunday afternoons ! I find a little 
note from him in 1891, the year in which we left Russell 
Square to move westwards, regretting the ' interesting 
old house/ ' with which I associate you in my mind. ' He 



294 A WEITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

was not an easy talker, but his listening had the quality 
that makes others talk their best ; while the sudden 
play of humour or sarcasm through the features that 
were no less strong than refined, and the impression 
throughout of a singularly upright and humane person- 
ality, made him a delightful companion. There were 
those who would gladly have seen him take a more 
prominent part in public life. Perhaps a certain natural 
indolence held him back ; perhaps a wonderful fairness 
of mind which made him slow to judge, and abnormally 
sensitive to ' the other side/ It is well known that as 
a landlord he left the administration of his great estates 
in the north almost wholly to his wife, and that, except 
in the great matter of temperance, he and she differed 
in politics, Lady Carlisle who was a Stanley of Alderley 
going with Mr. Gladstone at the time of the Home 
Rule split, while Lord Carlisle joined the Liberal 
Unionists. Both took a public part, and the political 
differences of the parents were continued in their 
children. Only a very rare and selfless nature could 
have carried through so difficult a situation without 
lack of either dignity or sweetness. Lord Carlisle, in 
the late eighties and early nineties, when I knew him 
best, showed no want of either. The restrictions he 
laid upon his own life were perhaps made natural by 
the fact that he was first and foremost an artist by 
training and temperament, and that the ordinary 
occupations, rural, social, or political, of the great 
land-owning noble, had little or no attraction for him. 
In the years at any rate when I saw him often, I was 
drawn to him by our common interest in the liberalising 
of religion, and by a common love of Italy and Italian 
art. I remember him once in the incomparable setting 



MAECELLA ' 295 

of Na worth ; but more often in London, and in Stopford 
Brooke's company. 

For he was an intimate friend and follower of Mr. 
Brooke's, and I came very early under the spell of that 
same strong and magnetic personality. While we were 
still at Oxford, through J. K. G. we made acquaintance 
with Mr. Brooke, and with the wife whose early death 
in 1879 left desolate one of the most affectionate of 
men. I remember well Mr. Brooke's last sermon in the 
University pulpit, before his secession, on grounds of 
what we should now call Modernism, from the Church 
of England. Mrs. Brooke, I think, was staying with 
us, while Mr. Brooke was at All Souls, and the strong 
individuality of both the husband and wife made a deep 
impression upon one who was then much more responsive 
and recipient than individual. The sermon was a great 
success ; but it was almost Mr. Brooke's latest utterance 
within the Anglican Church. The following year came 
the news of Mrs. Brooke's mortal illness. During our 
short meeting in 1877 I had been greatly attracted by 
her, and the news filled me with unbearable pain. But 
I had not understood from it that the end itself was 
near, and I went out into our little garden which was a 
mass of summer roses, and in a bewilderment of feeling 
gathered all I could find a glorious medley of bloom 
that they might surround her, if only for a day, with the 
beauty she loved. Next day, or the day after, she 
died ; and that basket of roses, arriving in the house 
of death belated, incongruous offering ! has stayed 
with me as the symbol of so much else that is too late 
in life, and of our human helplessness and futility in the 
face of sorrow. 

After our move to London, my children and I went 



296 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

for a long time regularly to hear Mr. Brooke at Bedford 
Chapel. At the time, I often felt very critical of the 
sermons. Looking back I cannot bring myself to say a 
critical word. If only one could still go and hear him ! 
Where are the same gifts, the same magnetism, the same 
compelling personality to be found to-day, among 
religious leaders ? I remember a sermon on Elijah 
and the priests of Baal, which for colour and range, for 
modernness, combined with ethical force and power, 
remains with me as perhaps the best I ever heard. 
And then, the service. Prayers simplified, repetitions 
omitted, the Beatitudes instead of the Commandments, 
a dozen jarring, intolerable things left out : but for the 
rest no needless break with association. And the relief 
and consolation of it ! The simple Communion service, 
adapted very slightly from the Anglican rite, and 
administered by Mr. Brooke with a reverence, an ardour, 
a tenderness one can only think of with emotion, was 
an example of what could be done with our religious 
traditions, for those who want new bottles for new 
wine, if only the courage and the imagination were there. 
The biography of Mr. Brooke, which his son-in-law, 
Principal Jacks, has just brought out, will, I think, 
reveal to many what made the spell of Stopford Brooke, 
to a degree which is not common in biography. For 
le papier est bete ! and the charm of a man who was 
both poet and artist, without writing poems or painting 
pictures, is very hard to hand on to those who never 
knew him. But luckily Stopford Brooke's diaries and 
letters reflect him with great fulness and freedom. 
They have his faults, naturally. They are often ex- 
uberant or hasty not, by any means, always fair to 
men and women of a different temperament from his 



' MARCELLA ' 297 

own. Yet on the whole, there is the same practical, 
warm-hearted wisdom in them, that many a friend 
found in the man himself when they went to consult 
him in his little study at the back of Bedford Chapel ; 
where he wrote his sermons and books, and found quiet, 
without however barring out the world, if it wanted 
him. And there breathes from them also the enduring, 
eager passion for natural and artistic beauty which 
made the joy of his own life, and which his letters and 
journals may well kindle in others. His old age was a 
triumph in the most difficult of arts. He was young 
to the end, and every day of the last waiting years was 
happy for himself, and precious to those about him. 
He knew what to give up and what to keep, and his 
freshness of feeling never failed. Perhaps his best and 
most enduring memorial will be the Wordsworth Cottage 
at Grasmere, which he planned and carried out. And 
I like to remember that my last sight of him was at a 
spot only a stone's throw from that cottage on the 
Keswick Road, his grey hair beaten back by the light 
breeze coming from the pass, and his cheerful eyes, 
full often, as it seemed to me, of a mystical content, 
raised towards the evening glow over Helm Crag and 
the Easedale fells. 

On the threshold also of the Settlement's early 
history there stands the venerable figure of James 
Martineau thinker and saint. For he was a member of 
the original Council, and his lectures on the Gospel of 
St. Luke, in the old ' Elsmerian ' hall, marked the best 
of what we tried to give in those first days. I knew 
Harriet Martineau in my childhood at Fox How. Well 
I remember going to tea with that tremendous woman 
when I was eight years old ; sitting through a silent 



298 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

meal, in much awe of her cap, her strong face, her ear 
trumpet ; and then being taken away to a neighbouring 
room by a kind niece, that I might not disturb her 
further. Once or twice, during my growing up I saw 
her. She lived only a mile from Fox How, and was 
always on friendly terms with my people. Matthew 
Arnold had a true admiration for her sturdy fighter 
that she was in Liberal causes. So had W. E. Forster ; 
only he suffered a good deal at her hands, as she dis- 
approved of the Education Bill, and contrived so to 
manage her trumpet when he came to see her, as to take 
all the argument and give him all the listening ! When 
my eldest child was born, a cot-blanket arrived, knitted 
by Miss Martineau's own hands the busy hands (soon 
then to be at rest) that wrote the ' History of the Peace/ 
' Feats on the Fiord/ the ' Settlers at Home/ and those 
excellent biographical sketches of the politicians of the 
Reform and Corn Law days in the Daily News, which 
are still well worth reading. 

Between Harriet Martineau and her brother James, 
as many people will remember, there arose an unhappy 
difference in middle life which was never mended or 
healed. I never heard him speak of her. His standards 
were high and severe, for all the sensitive delicacy of 
his long distinguished face, and visionary eyes ; and 
neither he nor she were of the stuff that allows kinship 
to supersede conscience. He published a somewhat 
vehement criticism of a book in which she was part 
author, and she never forgave it. And although to me, 
in the University Hall venture, he was gentleness and 
courtesy itself, and though his presence seemed to 
hallow a room directly he entered it, one felt always 
that he was formidable. The prophet and the Puritan 



MABCELLA ' 291) 

lay deep in him. Yet in his two famous volumes of 
Sermons there are tones of an exquisite tenderness and 
sweetness, together with harmonies of prose style, that 
remind me often how he loved music, and how his beauti- 
ful white head might be seen at the Monday Popular 
Concerts, week after week, his thinker's brow thrown 
back to catch the finest shades of Joachim's playing. 

The year after ' David Grieve ' appeared, Mr. Jowett 
died. His long letter to me on the book contained 
some characteristic passages, of which I quote the 
following : 

I should like to have a good talk with you. I seldom get 
anyone to talk on religious subjects. It seems to me that the 
world is growing rather tired of German criticism, having got 
out of it nearly all that it is capable of giving. To uie it appears 
one of the most hopeful signs of the present day that we are 
coming back to the old, old doctrine, ' he can't be wrong whose 
life is in the right.' Yet this has to be taught in a new way. 
adapted to the wants of the age. We must give up doctrine 
and teach by the lives of men, beginning with the life of Christ, 
instead. And the best words of men, beginning with the 
Gospels and the prophets, will be our Bible. 

At the end of the year we spent a week-end with 
him at Balliol, and that was my last sight of my dear 
old friend. 1893 was for me a year of illness, and of 
hard work both in the organisation of the new Settle- 
ment and in the writing of ' Marcella.' But that 
doesn't reconcile me to the recollection of how little I 
knew of his failing health till, suddenly, in September 
the news reached me that he was lying dangerously 
ill in the house of Sir Robert Wright, in Surrey. 

' Everyone who waited on him in his illness loved 
him/ wrote an old friend of his and mine who was with 
him to the end. What were almost his last words 



800 A WEITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

' I bless God for my life ! I bless God for my life ! ' 
seemed to bring the noble story of it to a triumphant 
close ; and after death he lay * with the look of a little 
child on his face. ... He will live in the hearts of 
those who loved him, as well as in his work/ 

He lives indeed ; and as we recede further from 
him the originality and greatness of his character will 
become more and more clear to Oxford and to England. 
The men whom he trained are now in the full stream of 
politics and life. His pupils and friends are or have 
been everywhere, and they have borne, in whatever 
vocation, the influence of his mind, or the mark of his 
friendship. Lord Lansdowne, Mr. Asquith, Lord Justice 
Bowen, Lord Coleridge, Lord Milner, Sir Kobert Morier, 
Matthew Arnold, Huxley, Tennyson, Lord Goschen, 
Miss Nightingale, and a hundred others of the nation's 
leaders : amid profoundest difference, the memory of 
' the Master ' has been ior them a common and a felt 
bond. No other religious personality of the nineteenth 
century unless it be that of Newman has stood for 
so much. In his very contradictions and inconsistencies 
of thought, he was the typical man of a time beset on all 
sides by new problems to which Jowett knew very well 
there was no intellectual answer ; while through the 
passion of his faith in a Divine Lii'e, which makes 
itself known to man, not in miracle or mystery, but 
through the channels of a common experience, he has 
been a kindling force in many hearts and minds, and 
those among the most important to England. Mean- 
while, to these great matters, the Jowettan oddities 
and idiosyncrasies added just that touch of laughter 
and surprise that makes a man loved by his own time, 
and arrests the eye and ear of posterity. 



CHAPTER XV 

' HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 

THE coming out of ' Marcella/ in April 1894, will 
always mark for me perhaps the happiest date in 
my literary life. The book, for all the hard work 
that had gone to it, had none the less been a pleasure 
to write ; and the good will that greeted it made the 
holiday I had earned which again was largely spent 
in Rome a golden time. Not long after we left 
England, ' Piccadilly, ' my sister wrote me, was 
' placarded with " Marcella," the name appearing 
on the notice-boards of most of the evening papers 
a thing which never happened to me before or since ; 
and when we arrived in Rome, the content-bills of the 
London newspapers, displayed in the Piazza di Spagna, 
announced her no less flamingly. The proof-sheets 
of the book had been tried on various friends, as usual, 
with some amusing results. Bishop Creighton, with 
only the first two-thirds of the book before him, wrote 
me denunciations of Marcella. 

I am greatly interested in the book and pine for the 
denouement. So far Marcella, though I know her quite 
well, does not in the least awaken my sympathy. She 
is an intolerable girl but there are many of them. . . , 

301 



802 A WEITEB'S EECOLLECTIONS 

I only hope that she may be made to pay for it. Mr. 
and Mrs. Boyce are good and original, so is Wharton. I 
hope that condign vengeance awaits him. He is the modern 
politician entirely. ... I really hope Marcella may be con- 
verted. It would serve her right to marry her to Wharton ; 
he would beat her. 

Another old friend, one of the industrial leaders 
of the north, carried off half the proofs to read on 
his journey to Yorkshire. 

I so ravened on them that I sat still at Blisworth instead 
of getting out ! The consequence is that all my plans are 

disarranged. I shall not get to M in time for my meeting, 

and for all this Marcella is to blame. . . . The station-master 
assured me he called out ' Change for Northampton,' but I was 
much too deep in the scene between Marcella, Lord Maxwell 
and Eaeburn, to heed anything belonging to the outer world. 

Mr. Goschen wrote : 

I don't know how long it is since I have enjoyed reading 
anything so much. I can't satisfy myself as to the physical 
appearance of Wharton. ... I do know some men of a 
character not quite unlike him, but they haven't the boyish 
face with curls. Marcella I see before me. Mrs. Boyce and 
Lord Maxwell both interested me very much. . . . Alack, 
I must turn from Marcella's enthusiasm and aspirations to 
Sir W. Harcourt's speech a great transition. 

And dear Alfred Lyttelton wrote : 

I feel a ridiculous pride in her triumphs which I have had 
the joy of witnessing on every side. ... At least permit an 
expert to tell you that his heart beat over the ferrets (in the 
poaching scene) and at the intense vividness and truth of 
the legal episodes. 

But there is one letter in this old packet which 
moves me specially. It was on the 1st of March, 



4 HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 803 

1894, that Mr. Gladstone said ' Goodbye ' to his Cabinet 
in the Cabinet room at Downing Street, and a little 
later in the afternoon walked away for the last time 
from the House of Commons. No one who has read 
it will forget the telling of that episode, in Mr. Morley's 
biography, with what concentration, what dignity ! 
worthy alike of the subject, and of the admirable man 
of letters himself an eye-witness who records it. 

While Lord Kimberley and Sir William Harcourt, 
on behalf of the rest of their colleagues, were bidding 
their great chief farewell, ' Mr. Gladstone sat composed 
and still as marble, and the emotion of the Cabinet 
did not gain him for an instant.' When the spokes- 
men ceased, he made his own little speech of four or 
five minutes in reply : * then hardly above a breath, 
but every accent heard, he said " God bless you all." 
He rose slowly and went out of one door, while his col- 
leagues with minds oppressed filed out by the other/ 

On this moving scene, there followed what Mr. 
Gladstone himself described as the first period of 
comparative leisure he had ever known, extending 
to four and a half months. They were marked first 
by increasing blindness, then by an operation for 
cataract and finally by a moderate return of sight. 
In July he notes that ' during the last months of 
partial incapacity I have not written with my own 
hand probably so much as one letter a day/ In 
this faded packet of mine lies one of these rare letters, 
written with his own hand a full sheet from Dollis 
Hill, on April 27. 

When ' Marcella ' arrived my thankfulness was alloyed with 
a feeling that the state of my eyesight made your kindness 
for the time a waste. But Mr. Nettleship has since then by 



304 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

an infusion supplied a temporary stimulus to the organ, such 
that I have been enabled to begin, and am reading the work 
with great pleasure and an agreeable sense of congeniality 
which I do not doubt I shall retain to the close. 

Then he describes a book a novel dealing with 
religious controversy, which he had lately been read- 
ing, in which every character embodying views opposed 
to those of the author ' is exhibited as odious/ With 
this he warmly contrasts the method and spirit of 
1 David Grieve/ and then continues : 

Well, I have by my resignation passed into a new state 
of existence. And in that state I shall be very glad when 
our respective stars may cause our paths to meet. I am full 
of prospective work ; bat for the present a tenacious influenza 
greatly cripples me and prevents my making any definitive 
arrangement for an expected operation on my eye. 

Eighty-five ! greatly crippled by influenza and 
blindness yet ' full of prospective work ' ! The follow- 
ing year, remembering ' Robert Elsmere ' days, and 
apropos of certain passages in his review of that book, I 
ventured to send him an Introduction I had contributed 
to my brother-in-law Leonard Huxley's translation of 
Hausrath/s ' New Testament Times/ This time the 
well-known handwriting is feebler, and the old ' fighter ' 
is not roused. He puts discussion by, and turns instead 
to kind words about a near relative of my own who 
had been winning distinctions at Oxford. 

It is one of the most legitimate interests of the old to watch 
with hope and joy these opening lives, and it has the secondary 
effect of whispering to them that they are not yet wholly 
frozen up. ... I am busy as far as my limited powers of 
exertion allow upon a new edition of Bishop Butler's Works, 
which costs me a good deal of labour, and leaves me after 



HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 



305 



a few hours upon it, good for very little else. And my per- 
spective, dubious as it is, is filled with other work, in Ihe 
Homeric region lying beyond. I hope it will be very long 
before you know anything of compulsory limitations on the 
exercise of your powers. Believe me always 

Sincerely yours, 

W. E. GLADSTONE. 

But it was not till 1897, as he himself records, that 
the indomitable spirit so far yielded to these limita- 
tions as to resign or rather contemplate resigning 
the second great task of which he had spoken to me 
at Oxford, nine years before. ' I have begun seriously 
to ask myself whether I shall ever be able to face 
" The Olympian Religion." ' 

It was I think in the winter of 1895 that I saw 
him for the last time at our neighbours, the Roth- 
schilds, at Tring Park. He was then full of anima- 
tion and talk, mainly of things political, and indeed 
not long before he had addressed a meeting at Chester 
on the Turkish massacres in Armenia, and was still 
to address a large audience at Liverpool on the same 
subject his last public appearance a year later. 
When ' George Tressady ' appeared he sent me a 
message through Mrs. Drew that he feared George 
Tressady's Parliamentary conduct ' was inconceivable 
in a man of honour ' ; and I was only comforted by the 
emphatic and laughing dissent of Lord Peel, to whom I 
repeated the verdict. ' Nothing of the kind ! But of 
course he was thinking of us the Liberal Unionists/ 

Then came the last months when, amid a world's 
sympathy and reverence, the great life, in weariness 
and pain wore to its end. The ' lying in state ' in 
Westminster Hall seemed to me ill-arranged. But the 



606 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

burying remains with me as one of those perfect things, 
which only the Anglican Church at its best in com- 
bination with the immemorial associations of English 
history can achieve. After it, I wrote to my son : 

I have now seen four great funerals in the Abbey Darwin, 
Browning, Tennyson, and the funeral service for Uncle Porster 
which was very striking too. But no one above forty of those 
in the Abbey yesterday will ever see the like again. It was 
as beautiful and noble as the 'lying-in-state' was disappoint- 
ing and ugly. The music was exquisite, and fitting in every 
respect ; and when the high sentence rang out ' and their 
name liveth for evermore,' the effect was marvellous. One 
seemed to hear the voice of the future already pealing through 
the Abbey as though the verdict were secured, the judgement 
given. 

We saw it all, admirably, from the Muniment Room which 
is a sort of lower Triforium above the south Transept. To 
me perhaps the most thrilling moment was when, bending 
forward, one saw the white covered coffin disappear amid the 
black crowd round it, and knew that it had sunk for ever into 
its deep grave, amid that same primaeval clay of Thorny 
Island on which Edwaid's Minster was first reared and the 
Bed King built his hall of judgement and Council. The 
statue of Dizzy looked down on him ' So you have come at 
last ! ' and all the other statues on either side seemed to 
welcome and receive him. . . . The sloping seats for Lords 
and Commons filled the transepts, a great black mass against 
the jewelled windows, the Lords on one side, the Commons 
on the other ; in front of each black multitude was the glitter 
of a mace, and in the hollow between, the whiteness of the 
pall perhaps you can fancy it so. 

But the impetus of memory has carried me on too 
fast. There are some other figures and scenes to be 
gathered from these years '93-'98 that may still 
interest this present day. Of the most varied kind ! 
For as I turn over letters and memoranda a jumble 



1 HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 807 

of recollections passes through my mind. Baron 
Ferdinand de Rothschild on the one hand, a melan- 
choly kindly man, amid the splendours of Waddesdou ; 
a met tug of the Social Democratic Federation in a 
cellar in Lisson Grove ; days of absorbing interest in 
the Jewish East End, and in sweaters' workshops, while 
' George Tressady ' was in writing ; a first visit to 
Men tm ore while Lady Rosebery was alive ; a talk with 
Lord Rosebery some time after her death, in a corner 
of a local ball-room, while ' Helbeck ' was shaping itself, 
about the old Catholic families of England, which re- 
vealed to me yet another and unsuspected vein of know- 
ledge in one of the best furnished of minds ; the Asquith 
marriage in 1894 ; new acquaintances and experiences 
in Lancashire towns, again connected with * George 
Tressady/ and in which I was helped by that brilliant 
writer, worker, and fighter, Mrs. Sidney Webb ; a 
nascent friendship with Sir William Harcourt, one of 
the most racy of all possible companions ; happy even- 
ings in the Tadema and Richmond studios with music 
and good talk ; occasional meetings with and letters 
from ' Pater/ the dear and famous Professor, who like 
my uncle fought half the world, and scarcely made 
an enemy ; visits to Oxford and old friends : such 
are the scenes and persons that come- back to me as 
I read old letters, while all through it ran the con- 
tinual strain of hard literary work, mingled with the 
new social and religious interests which the foundation 
of the Passrnore Edwards Settlement had brought me. 

We have been at Margot Tennant's wedding to-day (I wrote 
to my son on May 10, 1894) a great function, very tiring, 
but very briiliant and amusing occasionally dramatic too, as 
when after the service had begun, the sound of cheering in the 



308 A WEITER'S KECOLLECTIONS 

street outside drowned the voice of the Bishop of Kochester, 
and warned us that Mr. Gladstone was arriving. Afterwards 
at the house, we shook hands with three Cabinet Ministers 
on the doorstep, and there were all the rest of them inside ! 
The bride carried herself beautifully and was as composed 
and fresh as though it were any ordinary party. From our 
seat in the church one saw the interior of the vestry and Mr. 
Gladstone's white head against the window as he sat to sign 
the register ; and the greeting between him and Mr. Balfour 
when he had done. 

This was written while Lord Rosebery was Prime 
Minister and Mr. Balfour, still free, until the following 
year, from the trammels of office, was finishing his 
brilliant ' Foundations of Belief/ which came out in 
1895. In acknowledging the copy which he sent me, 
I ventured to write some pages on behalf of certain 
arguments of the Higher Criticism which seemed to 
me to deserve a fuller treatment thao Mr. Balfour had 
been willing to give them in defence also of our English 
idealists, such as Green and Caird, in their relation to 
orthodoxy. A year or two earlier I find I had been 
breaking a lance on behalf of the same school of writers 
with a very different opponent. In the controversy 
between Professor Huxley and Dr. Wace in 18CO, which 
opened with the famous article on ' The Gadarene 
Swine/ the Professor had welcomed me as an ally, 
because of 'The New Reformation* which appeared 
much about the same time ; and the word of praise 
in which he compared my reply to Mr. Gladstone, to 
the work ' of a strong housemaid brushing away cob- 
webs/ gave me a fearful joy! I well remember a 
thrilling moment ' in the Russell Square drawing- 
room in '89, when ' Pater ' and I were in full talk, he 
in his raciest and most amusing form, and suddenly 



HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 809 

the door opened, and ' Dr. Wace ' was announced 
the opponent with whom at that moment he was grap- 
pling his hardest in the Nineteenth Century. Huxley 
gave me a merry look and then how perfectly they 
both behaved ! I really think the meeting was a 
pleasure to both of them, and when my old chief in 
the * Dictionary of Christian Biography ' took his 
departure, Huxley found all kinds of pleasant personal 
things to say about him. 

But the Professor and I were not always at one. 
Caird and Green and, for other reasons, Martineau 
were to me names ' of great pith and moment/ and 
Christian Theism was a reasonable faith. And Huxley, 
in controversy, was no more kind to my ' sacra ' than to 
other people's. Once I dared a mild remonstrance in 
1892 only to provoke one of his most vigorous replies : 

MY DEAR M. Thanks for your very pleasant letter. I 
do not know whether 1 like the praise or the scolding better. 
They, like pastry, need to be done with a light hand especially 
praise and I have swallowed all yours, and feel it thoroughly 
agrees with me. 

As to the scolding I am going to defend myself tooth 
and nail. In the first place, by all my Gods and No 
Gods, neither Green, nor Martineau, nor the Cairds were 
in my mind when I talked of 'Sentimental Deism,' but 
the ' Vicaire Savoyard,' and Channing, and such as Voysey. 
There are two chapters of 'Rousseauism.' I have not 
touched yet Rousseauism in Theology, and Rousseauism 
in Education. When I write the former I shall try to shew 
that the people of whom I speak as 'sentimental deists' 
are the lineal descendents of the Vicaire Savoyard. I was 
a great reader of Channing in my boyhood, and was much 
taken in by his theosophic confectionery. At present I 
have as much (intellectual) antipathy to him as St. John 
had to the Nicolaitans. 



310 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

. . . Green I know only from his Introduction to Hume- 
which reminds me of nothing so much as a man with a hammer 
and chisel knocking out bits of bad stone in the Great Pyramid, 
with the view of bringing it down. ... As to Caird's ' Introduc- 
tion to the Philosophy of Eeligion,' I will get it and study it. 
But as a rule ' Philosophies of Eeligion ' in my experience, 
turn out to be only ' Eeligions of Philosophers 'quite another 
business, as you will admit. 

And if you please, Ma'am, I wish to add that I think I 
am not without sympathy for Christian feeling or rather for 
what you mean by it. Beneath the cooled logical upper strata 
of my microcosm, there is a fused mass of prophet ism and 
mysticism, and the Lord knows what might happen to me, 
in case a moral earthquake cracked the superincumbent 
deposit, and permitted an eruption of the demonic element 
below. . . . Luckily I am near 70, and not a G.O.M. so the 
danger is slight. 

One must stick to one's trade. It is my business to the 
best of my ability to fight for scientific clearness that is 
what the world lacks. Feeling, Christian or other, is super- 
abundant. . . . 

Ever yours affectionately, 

T. H. HUXLEY. 

A few more letters from him racy, and living 
as himself and then in '95, just after his first article 
on the ' Foundations of Belief/ we heard with dismay 
of the illness which killed him. There was never a 
man more beloved more deeply mourned. 

The autumn of 1896 brought me a great loss in 
the death of an intimate friend, Lady Wemyss as 
marked a personality in her own circle as was her 
indomitable husband, the famous Lord Elcho, of the 
Volunteer movement, on the bigger stage. It was at 
Balliol, at the Master's table, and in the early Oxford 
days, that we first made friends with Lord and Lady 



' HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 



811 



Wemyss, who were staying with the Master for the 
Sunday. I was sitting next to Lord Wemyss, and he 
presently discovered that I was absent-minded. And 
I found him so attractive and so human that I soon 
told him why. I had left a sick child at home, with 
a high temperature, and was fidgeting to get back 
to him. 

' What is the matter ? Fever ? throat ? Aconite, 
of course ! You're a homoeopath, aren't you ? All 
sensible people are. Look here I've got a servant 
with me. I'll send him with some aconite at once. 
Where do you live ? in the Parks ? All right. Give 
me your address.' 

Out came an envelope and a pencil. A message 
was sent round the dinner- table to Lady Wemyss, 
whose powerful dreaming face beside the Master lit 
up at once. The aconite was sent; the child's tem- 
perature went down; and, if I remember right, either 
one or both of his new medical advisers walked up to 
the Parks the next day to enquire for him. So began 
a friendship which for just twenty years, especially 
from about '85 to '96, meant a great deal to me. 

How shall I describe Lady Wemyss ? An un- 
friendly critic has recently allowed me the power of 
' interesting fashionable ladies in things of the mind.' 
Was Lady Wemyss a ' fashionable lady ' ? She was 
the wife, certainly, of a man of high rank and 
great posses.^ions; but I met her first as a friend 
a dear and intimate friend, as may be seen from 
his correspondence of Mr. Jowett's ; and Mr. Jowett 
was not very tolerant of 'fashionable ladies.' She 
was in reality a strong and very simple person, 
with a natural charm working through a very 



812 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

reserved and often harsh manner, like the charm of 
mountain places in spring. She was a Conservative, 
and I suppose an aristocrat, whatever that word may 
mean. She thought the Harcourt death-duties ' ter- 
rible,' because they broke up old families and old 
estates, and she had been brought up to think that 
both were useful. Yet I never knew anybody with 
a more instinctive passion for equality. This means 
that she was simply and deeply interested in all sorts 
of human beings, and all sorts of human lots ; also 
that although she was often self-conscious, it was 
the self-consciousness one sees in the thoughtful and 
richly-natured young, whose growth in thought or 
character has outrun their means of expression : and 
never mean or egotistical. Her deep voice ; her fine, 
marked features ; and the sudden play of humour, 
silent, self - restrained, yet most infectious to the by- 
stander, that would lighten through them ; her stately 
ways ; and yet withal, her child-like love of loving 
and being loved by the few to whom she gave her 
deepest affection : in some such phrases one tries to 
describe her ; but they go a very little way. 

I can see her now at the dinner-table at Gosford, 
sardonically watching a real ' fashionable lady ' who 
had arrived in the afternoon, and was sitting next 
Lord Wemyss at the further end with a wonderful 
frizzled head, an infinitesimal waist sheathed in white 
muslin and blue ribbons, rouged cheeks, a marvellous 
concatenation of jewels, and a caressing, gesticulating 
manner meant, at fifty, to suggest the ways of ' sweet 
and twenty/ The frizzled head drew nearer and 
nearer to Lord Wemyss, the fingers flourished and 



' HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 813 

pointed ; and suddenly I heard Lady Wemyss's deep 
voice, meditatively amused, beside me 

' Her fingers will be in Frank's eyes soon ! ' 

Or again, I see her, stalled beneath the drawing- 
room table, on all fours, by her imperious grand-children, 
patiently playing ' horse ' or ' cow, ' till her scand- 
alised daughter-in-law discovered her, and ran to her 
release. Or in her last illness, turning her noble head 
and faint welcoming smile to the few friends that were 
admitted ; and finally, in the splendid rest after death, 
when those of us who had not known her in youth, 
could guess what the beauty of her youth had been. 

She was an omnivorous and most intelligent reader ; 
and a friend that never failed Matthew Arnold was 
very fond of her, and she of him ; Laura Lyttelton, 
who was nearly forty years her junior, loved her dearly, 
and never felt the bar of years ; the Master owed much 
to her affection ; and gratefully acknowledged it. 
The ' Commonplace Book/ privately printed after her 
death, showed the range of interests which had played 
upon her fresh and energetic mind. It was untrained, 
I suppose, compared to the woman graduate of to-day. 
But it was far less tired ; and all its adventures were 
of its own seeking. 

It was in 1896, not long after the appearance of 
* George Tressady/ that a conversation in a house 
on the outskirts of the Lakes suggested to me the 
main plot of ' Helbeck of Bannisdale/ The talk 
turned on the fortunes of that interesting old place, 
Sizergh Castle, near Kendal, and of the Catholic family 
to whom it then still belonged, though mortgages 
and lack of pence were threatening imminently to 



814 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

submerge an ancient stock that had held it unbrokenly, 
from father to son, through many generations. 

The relation between such a family, pinched and 
obscure, yet with its own proud record, and inherited 
consciousness of an unbroken loyalty to a once per- 
secuted faith and this modern world of ours, struck 
me as an admirable subject for a novel. I thought 
about it next day, all through a long railway journey 
from Kendal to London, and by the time I reached 
Euston, the plot of ' Helbeck of Bannisdale ' was more 
or less clear to me. 

I confided it to Lord Acton a little while afterwards. 
We discussed it, and he cordially encouraged me 
to work it out. Then I consulted my father, my 
Catholic father, without whose assent I should never 
have written the book at all ; and he raised no diffi- 
culty. So I only had to begin. 

But I wanted a setting somewhere in the border 
country between the Lakes mountains and Morecambe 
Bay. And here another piece of good luck befell, 
almost equal to that which had carried us to Hampden 
for the summer of 1889. Levens Hall, it appeared, 
was to be let for the spring the famous Elizabethan 
house, five miles from Kendal, and about a mile from 
Sizergh. I had already seen Levens ; and we took 
the chance at once. 

Bannisdale in the novel is a combination, I sup- 
pose, of Sizergh and Levens. The two houses, though 
of much the same date, are really very different, 
and suggest phases of life quite distinct from each 
other. Levens compared to Sizergh is or was then, 
before the modern restoration of Sizergh the spoiled 
beauty beside the shabby ascetic. Levens has always 



' HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 315 

been cared for and lived in by people who had money 
to spend upon the house and garden they loved, and 
the result is a wonderful example of Elizabethan and 
Jacobean decoration, mellowed by time into a per- 
fect whole. Yet, for my purposes, there was always 
Sizergh, close by, with its austere suggestions of 
sacrifice and suffering under the penal laws, borne 
without flinching by a long succession of quiet, simple 
undistinguished people. 

We arrived there in March 1897. The house greeted 
us on a clear and chilly evening, under the mingled 
light of a frosty sunset and the blaze of wood fires 
which had been lit everywhere to warm its new 
guests. 

At last we arrived saw the wonderful grey house rising 

above the river in the evening light, found G waiting at 

the open door for us, and plunged into the hall, the sitting- 
rooms, and all the intricacies of the upper passages and turrets 
with the delight and curiosity of a pack of children. Wood 
and peat fires were burning everywhere ; the great chimney- 
pieces hi the drawing-room, the arms of Elizabeth over the 
hall fire, the stucco birds and beasts running round the Hall 
shewed dimly in the scanty lamp-light (we shall want about 
six more lamps !) and the beauty of the marvellous old place 
took us all by storm. Then through endless passages and 
kitchens, bright with long rows of copper pans and moulds, 
we made our way out into the gardens among the clipped 
yews and cedars, and had just light enough to see that Lev ens 
apparently is like nothing else but itself. . . . The drawback 
of the house at present is certainly the cold / 

Thus began a happy and fruitful time. We managed 
to get warm in spite of a treacherous and tardy spring. 
Guests came to stay with us: Henry James above 
all ; the Creightons, he then in the first months of 



316 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

that remarkable London episcopate, which in four 
short years did so much to raise the name and fame 
of the Anglican Church in London, at least for the lay 
mind ; the Neville Lytteltons, who had been since 
'93 our summer neighbours at Stocks ; Lord Lytton, 
then at Cambridge ; the Sydney Buxtons ; old Ox- 
ford friends, and many kinsfolk. The damson blossom 
along the hedge-rows that makes of these northern 
vales in April a glistening network of white and green, 
the daffodils and violets, the lilies of the valley in the 
Brigsteer woods came and went, and ' Helbeck ' made 
steady progress. 

But we left Levens in May, and it took me another 
eight months to finish the book. Except perhaps in the 
case of ' Bessie Costrell/ I was never more possessed by 
a subject, more shut in by it from the outer world. 
And though its contemporary success was nothing like 
so great as that of most of my other books, the response 
it evoked, as my letters show, in those to whom the 
book appealed, was deep and passionate. 

My first anxiety \\as as to my father, and after 
we had left England for abroad, I was seized with 
misgivings lest certain passages in the talk of Dr. 
Friedland, who, it will perhaps be remembered, is 
made the spokesman in the book of certain points 
in the intellectual case against Catholicism, should 
wound or distress him. I therefore no sooner reached 
Italy than I sent for the proofs again, and worked at 
them as much as fatigue would let me, softening them, 
and, I think, improving them too. Then we went on 
to Florence, and rest, coming home for the book's 
publication in June. 

The joy and emotion of it were great. George 



* HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 817 

Meredith, J. M. Barrie, Paul Bourget, and Henry James 
the men who at that time stood at the head of my 
own art gave the book a welcome that I can never 
forget. George Meredith wrote : 

Your Helbeck of Bannisdale held me firmly in the reading 
and remains with me. ... If I felt a monotony during the 
struggle, it came of your being faithful to your theme rapt 
or you would not have had such power over your reader. I know 
not another book that shews the classic fate so distinctly to 
view. . . . Yet a word of thanks for Dr. Friedland. He is 
the voice of spring in the book. 

J. M. Barrie's generous, enthusiastic note delights 
and inspires me again as I read it over. Mr. Morley, 
my old editor and critic, wrote : ' I find it intensely 
interesting and with all the elements of beauty, power, 
and pathos/ For Leslie Stephen, with whom I had 
only lately made warm and close friends, I had a copy 
bound, without the final chapter, that the book might 
not, by its tragic close, depress one who had known 
so much sorrow. Sir Alfred Lyall thought ' the 
story reaches a higher pitch of vigour and dramatic 
presentation than is to be found even in your later 
books ' ; while Lord Halifax's letter ' how lovable 
they both are, each in their way, and how true to the 
ideal on both sides ! ' and others, from Mr. Godkin, 
of the American Nation, from Frederic Harrison, Lord 
Goschen, Lord Dufferin, and many, many more, pro- 
duced in me that curious mood which for the artist is 
much nearer dread than boasting dread that the best 
is over, and that one will never earn such sympathy 
again. One letter not written to myself, from Mr. 
George Wyndham to Mr. Wilfred Ward, I have asked 
leave to print as a piece of independent criticism : 



318 A WKITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

On Sunday I read Helbeck of Bannisdale, and I confess 
that the book moved me a great deal. It is her best book. 
It is a true tragedy, because the crash is inevitable. This is 
not so easy to effect in Art as many suppose. There are very 
few characters and situations which lead to inevitable crashes. 
It is a thousand to one that a woman who thinks she ought 
not to marry a man but who loves him passionately, will, 
in fact, marry him. She will either discover an ingenious way 
out of her wood, or else, just shut her eyes and ' go it blind ' 
relying on his strength and feeling that it is really right to 
relinquish to him her sense of responsibility. In choosing 
a girl with nothing left her in the world but loyalty to a dead 
father and memory of his attitude towards religion, without 
knowledge of his arguments for that attitude, I think that 
Mrs. Ward has hit on the only possible ' persona.' Had Laura, 
herself, been a convinced rationalist, or had her Father been 
still alive, she would have merged herself and her attitude in 
Helbeck's strength of character. Being a work of art, self- 
consistent and inevitable, the book becomes symbolic. It 
is a picture of incompatibility, but, being a true picture, it 
is a symbolic index to the incompatible which plays so large 
a part in the experience of man. 

For the rest, I remember vividly the happy holiday 
of that summer at Stocks; the sense of having come 
through a great wrestle, and rinding everything 
my children, the garden, my little Huxley nephews, 
books and talk, the Settlement where we were just 
about to open our Cripple School, and all else 
in life, steeped in a special glamour. It faded soon, 
no doubt, ' into the light of common day ' ; but if 
I shut my thoughts and eyes against the troubles of 
these dark hours of war, I can feel my way back 
into that ' wind- warm space/ and look into the faces 
that earth knows no more my father, Leslie Stephen, 
Alfred Lyall, Mr. Goschen, Alfred Lyttelton, H. 0. 



' HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 819 

Arnold-Forster, my sister, Julia Huxley, my eldest 
brother a vanished company ! 

And in the following year, to complete the story, 
I owed to ' Helbeck ' a striking and unexpected hour. 
A message reached me in November, 1898, to the effect 
that the Empress Frederick who had just arrived at 
Windsor admired the book and would like to see the 
writer of it. 

A tragic figure at that moment the Empress 
Frederick ! That splendid Crown Prince, in his white 
uniform, whom we had seen at Schwalbach in 1872, had 
finished in June, 1888, with his phantom reign and tor- 
tured life ; and his son reigned in his stead. Bismarck, 
* the Englishwoman's ' implacable enemy, had died 
some four months before I saw the Empress, after eight 
years' exclusion from power. The Empress herself was 
on the verge of the terrible illness which killed her two 
years later. To me her life and personality or rather, 
the little I knew of them had always been very interest- 
ing. She had, of course, the reputation of being the 
ablest of her family, and the bitterness of her sudden 
and irreparable defeat at the hands of Fate and her son, 
in 1889-90, had often struck me as one of the grimmest 
stories in history. One incident in it, not, I think, very 
generally known, I happened to hear from an eye- 
witness of the scene, before 1898. It was as follows : 

The Empress Frederick in the midst of the Bismarck 
crisis of March 1890, when it was evident that the young 
Emperor William II. was bent on getting rid of his 
Chancellor, and so ' dropping the pilot ' of his House, 
was sitting at home one afternoon, with the companion 
from whom I heard the story, when a servant, looking 
a good deal scared, announced that Prince Bismarck 



320 A WBITEB'S EECOLLECTIONS 

had called, and wished to know whether her Majesty 
would receive him. 

' Prince Bismarck ! ' said the Empress in amazement. 
She had probably not seen him since the death of her 
husband, and relations between herself and him had 
been no more than official for years. Turning to her 
companion, she said, ' What can he possibly want with 
me!' 

She consented however to receive him, and the old 
Prince, agitated and hollow-eyed, made his appearance. 
He had come, as a last hope of placating the new Kaiser, 
to ask the Empress to use what influence she could 
on his behalf with her son. The Empress listened in 
growing astonishment. At the end, there was a short 
silence. Then she said, with emotion ' I am sorry ! 
You, yourself, Prince Bismarck, have destroyed all my 
influence with my son. I can do nothing/ 

In a sense, it must have been a moment of triumph. 
But how tragic are all the implications of the story ! 
It was in my mind as I travelled to Windsor on 
November 18,h, 1898. The following letter was written 
next day to one of my children : 

D and I met at Windsor, and we mounted into the quad- 
rangle, stopped at the third door on the right as Mrs. M had 

directed us, interviewed various gorgeous footmen, and were 

soon in Mrs. M 's little sitting-room. Then we found we 

should have some little time to wait, as the Empress was just 
going out wiih the Queen and would see me at a quarter to 1. 
So we waiied, much amused by the talk around us. (Tt 
turned, if I remember right, on a certain German Princess, 
who had arrived a day or two before as the old Queen's 
guest, and had been taken since her arrival on such a 
strenuous round of tombs and mausoleums that, hearing 
on this particular morning that the Queen proposed to take 



' HELBECK OF BANNISDALE ' 321 

her in the afternoon to see yet another mausoleum, she had 
stubbornly refused to get up. She had a headache, she said, 
and would stay in bed. But the ladies in waiting, with fits 
of laughter, described how the Queen had at once ordered her 
phenacetin, and how there was really no chance at all for the 
poor lady. The Queen would get her way, and the departed 
would be duty honoured headache or no headache. As 
indeed it turned out.) 

Presently we saw the Queen's little pony-carriage pass along 
beyond the windows with the Empress Frederick, and the Grand 
Duke and Duchess Serge walking beside it, and the Indians 
behind. Then in a little while the Empress Frederick came 
hurrying back alone, and almost directly came my summons. 
Countess Perpoiicher, her lady in waiting, took me up through 
the Long Corridor, past the entrance to the Queen's rooms 
on one side, and Gordon's Bible, in its glass case, on the other, 
till we turned to the left, and I was in a small sitting-room, 
where a lady, grey-haired and in black, came forward to meet 
me. . . . We talked for about 50 minutes : of German books 
and Universities Harnack Kenan, for whom she had the 
greatest admiration Strauss, of whom she told me various 
interesting things German colonies, that she thought were 
' all nonsense ' Dreyfus, who in her eyes is certainly innocent 
reaction in France the difference between the Greek Church 
in Russia, and the Greek Church in Greece, the hopes of Greece, 
and the freeing of Crete. It is evident that her whole heart 
is with Greece and her daughter there [the young Queen 
Sophia, on whose character recently deciphered documents 
have thrown so strong a light] and she spoke bitterly, as 
she always does, about the English hanging-back, and the 
dawdling of the European Concert. Then she described how 
she read ' George Tressady ' aloud to her invalid daughter till 
the daughter begged her to stop, lest she should cry over it all 
night she said charming things of ' Helbeck,' talked of Italy, 
D'Annunzio, quoted ' my dear old friend Minghetti,' as to the 
fundamental paganism in the Italian mind, asked me to write 
my name in her book, and to come and see her in Berlin and 
it was time to go. . . . She is a very attractive, sensitive, 



322 A WEITEE'S RECOLLECTIONS 

impulsive woman, more charming than I had imagined, and, 
perhaps, less intellectual altogether the very woman to set 
up the backs of Bismarck and his like. Never was there a 
more thorough Englishwoman ! I found myself constantly 
getting her out of focus, by that confusion of mind which 
made one think of her as German. 

And to my father I wrote : 

The Empress began by asking after Uncle Matt, and nothing 
could have been kinder and more sympathetic than her whole 
manner. But of course Bismarck hated her. She is absolutely 
English, parliamentary, and anti-despotic. . . . When I 
ventured to say in bidding her Good-bye, that I had often 
folt great admiration and deep sympathy for her, which is 
true she threw up her hands with a little sad or bitter gesture 
'Oh! admiration! for me I* as if she knew very well 
what it was to be conscious of the reverse. A touching, 
intelligent, impulsive woman, she seemed to me no doubt 
often not a wise one but very attractive. 

Nineteen years ago ! And two years later, after 
long suffering, like her husband, the last silence 
fell on this brave and stormy nature. Let us thank 
God for it, as we look out upon Europe, and see what 
her son has made of it. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE VILLA BARBERINI. HENRY JAMES 

IT was in the summer of 1898, that some suggestions 
gathered from the love-story of Chateaubriand and 
Madame de Beaumont, and jotted down on a sheet of 
notepaper, led to the writing of ' Eleanor. ' Madame 
de Beaumont's melancholy life came to an end in Rome, 
and the Roman setting imposed itself, so to speak, 
at once. But to write in Rome itself, played upon 
by all the influences of a place where the currents 
of life and thought, so far as those currents are politi- 
cal, historical or artistic, seem to be running at double 
tides, would be, I knew, impossible, and we began 
to make enquiries for a place outside Rome, yet not 
too far away, where we might spend the spring. We 
tried to get an apartment at Frascati, but in vain. 
Then some friend suggested an apartment in the old 
Villa Barberini at Castel Gandolfo, well known to many 
an English and French diplomat, especially to the 
diplomat's wife and children, flying to the hills to 
escape the summer heat of Rome. We found by 
correspondence two kind little ladies living in Rome, 
who agreed to make all the preparations for us, find 
servants, and provide against a possibly cold spring 

323 



324 A WKITEK'S RECOLLECTIONS 

to be spent in rooms meant only for villegiatura in 
the summer. We were to go early in March, and fires 
or stoves must be obtainable, if the weather pinched. 

The little ladies did everything, engaged servants, 
and bargained with the Barberini Steward, but they 
could not bargain with the weather ! On a certain 
March day when the snow lay thick on the olives, 
and all the furies were wailing round the Alban hills 
we arrived. My husband, who had journeyed out 
with us to settle us in, and was then returning to his 
London work, was inclined to mocking prophecies 
that I should soon be back in Rome at a comfortable 
Hotel. Oh, how cold it was that first night ! how 
dreary on the great stone staircase, and in the bare 
comfortless rooms ! We looked out over a grey 
storm-swept Campagna, to distant line of surf-beaten 
coast ; the kitchen was fifty-two steps below the dining- 
room ; the Neapolitan cook seemed to us a most for- 
midable gentleman, suggesting stilettos, and we sat 
down to our first meal, wondering whether we could 
possibly stay it out. 

But with the night (as I wrote some years ago) the snow 
vanished, and the sun emerged. We ran east to one balcony, 
and saw the light blazing on the Alban Lake, and had but to 
cross the apartment to find ourselves, on the other side, with 
all the Campagna at our feet, sparkling in a thousand colours 
to the sea. And outside was the garden, with its lemon trees 
growing in vast jars like the jars of Knossos but marked 
with Barberini bees ; its white and red camellias be-carpeting 
the soft grass with their fallen petals ; its dark and tragic 
recesses where melancholy trees hung above piled fragments 
of the great Domitian villa whose ruins lay everywhere beneath 
our feet ; its olive gardens sloping to the west, and open to the 
sun, open too to white, nibbling goats, and wandering bambini ; 



THE VILLA BAEBEEINI. HENRY JAMES 825 

its magical glimpse of St. Peter's to the north, through a notch in 
a group of stone-pines ; and, last and best, its marvellous terrace 
that roofed a crypto-porticus of the old villa, whence the whole 
vast landscape, from Ostia and the mountains of Viterbo to 
the Circeean promontory, might be discerned, where one might 
sit and watch the sunsets burn in scarlet and purple down 
through the wide west into the shining bosom of the Tyrrhenian 
sea. 

And in one day we had made a home out of what 
seemed a desert. Books had been unpacked, flowers 
had been brought in, the stoves were made to burn, 
the hard chairs and sofas had been twisted and turned 
into something more human and sociable, and we 
had began to realise that we were, after all, singularly 
fortunate mortals, put in possession for three months 
at the most moderate of rents ! of as much Italian 
beauty, antiquity, and romance, as any covetous soul 
could hope for with Rome at our gates, and leisurely 
time for quiet work. 

Our earliest guest was Henry James, and never 
did I see Henry James in a happier light. A new 
light too. For here, in this Italian country, and in 
the Eternal City, the man whom I had so far mainly 
known as a Londoner was far more at home than I ; 
and I realised perhaps more fully than ever before 
the extraordinary range of his knowledge and sym- 
pathies. 

Roman history and antiquities, Italian art, Re- 
naissance sculpture, the personalities and events of the 
Risorgimento, all these solid connaissances and many 
more were to be recognised perpetually as rich elements 
in the general wealth of Mr. James's mind. That he 
had read immensely, observed immensely, talked 



326 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

immensely, became once more gradually and delight- 
fully clear on this new field. That he spoke French to 
perfection was of course quickly evident to anyone who 
had even a slight acquaintance with him. M. Bourget 
once gave me a wonderful illustration of it. He said 
that Mr. James was staying with himself and Madame 
Bourget at their villa at Hyeres, not long after the 
appearance of Kipling's * Seven Seas/ M. Bourget, 
who by that time read and spoke English fluently, 
complained of Mr. Kipling's technicalities, and declared 
that he could not make head or tail of Me Andrew's 
Hymn. Whereupon Mr. James took up the book, and 
standing by the fire, fronting his hosts, there and then 
put McAndrew's Hymn into vigorous idiomatic French 
an extraordinary feat, as it seemed to M. Bourget. 
Something similar, it will be remembered, is told of 
Tennyson. ' One evening/ says F. T. Palgrave of the 
poet, ' he read out, oil-hand, Pindar's great picture of 
the life of Heaven, in the Second Olympian, into pure 
modern pross splendidly lucid and musical/ Let who 
will decide which tour de force was the more difficult. 

But Mr. James was also very much at home in 
Italian, while in the literature, history and art of 
both countries he moved with the well-earned sure- 
ness of foot of the student. Yet how little one ever 
thought of him as a student ! That was the spell. 
He wore his learning and in certain directions he 
was learned ' lightly, like a flower. ' It was to him 
not a burden to be carried, not a possession to be 
proud of, but merely something that made life more 
thrilling, more full of emotions and sensations ; emotions 
and sensations which he was always eager, without a 
touch of pedantry, to share with other people. His 



THE VILLA BABBEBINI. HENBY JAMES 327 

knowledge was conveyed by suggestion, by the adroitest 
of hints and indirect approaches. He was politely 
certain, to begin with, that you knew it all ; then to 
walk with you round and round the subject, turning 
it inside out, playing with it, making mock of it, 
and catching it again with a sudden grip, or a 
momentary flash of eloquence, seemed to be for the 
moment his business in life. How the thing emerged, 
after a few minutes, from the long involved sentences ; 
only involved because the impressions of a man of 
genius are so many, and the resources of speech so 
limited. This involution, this deliberation in attack, 
this slowness of approach towards a point which in 
the end was generally triumphantly rushed, always 
seemed to me more effective as Mr. James used it in 
speech than as he employed it some of us would say, 
to excess in a few of his latest books. For, in talk, 
his own living personality his flashes of fun of 
courtesy of ' chaff ' were always there, to do away 
with what in the written word, became a difficult strain 
on attention. 

I remember an amusing instance of it, when my 

daughter D , who was housekeeping for us at 

Castel Gandolfo, asked his opinion as to how to deal with 
the Neapolitan cook, who had been anything but satis- 
factory, in the case of a luncheon-party of friends from 
Rome. It was decided to write a letter to the ex- 
bandit in the kitchen, at the bottom of the fifty -two 
steps, requesting him to do his best, and pointing out 

recent short-comings. D , whose Italian was then 

rudimentary, brought the letter to Mr. James, and 
he walked up and down the vast salone of the Villa, 
striking his forehead, correcting and improvising. ' A 



828 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

really nice pudding ' was what we justly desired, 
since the Neapolitan genius for sweets is well known. 
Mr. James threw out half phrases pursued them 
improved upon them withdrew them till finally he 
rushed upon the magnificent bathos ' un dolce come 
si deve ! ' which has ever since been the word with 
us for the tip-top thing. 

With the country people he was simplicity and 
friendship itself. I recollect him in close talk with a 
brown-frocked bare-footed monk, coming from the 
monastery of Palazzuola on the farther side of the 
Alban lake, and how the super-subtle, super-sensitive 
cosmopolitan found not the smallest difficulty in drawing 
out the peasant, and getting at something real and vital 
in the ruder, simpler mind. And again, on a never to 
be forgotten evening on the Nemi lake, when on descend- 
ing from Genzano to the strawberry farm that now holds 
the site of the famous temple of Diana Nemorensis, 
we found a beautiful youth at the fattoria, who for a few 
pence undertook to show us the fragments that remain. 
Mr. James asked his name. ' Aristodemo/ said the 
boy, looking as he spoke the Greek name, ' like to a god 
in form and stature/ Mr. James's face lit up; and 
he walked over the historic ground beside the lad, 
Aristodemo picking up for him fragments of terra- 
cotta from the furrows through which the plough had 
just passed, bits of the innumerable small figurines 
that used to crowd the temple walls as ex-votos, and are 
now mingled with the fragole in the rich alluvial earth. 
It was a wonderful evening ; with a golden sun on the 
lake, on the wide stretches where the temple stood, and 
the niched wall where Lord Savile dug for treasure and 
found it ; on the great ship-timbers also, beside the lake, 



THE VILLA BARBEBINI. HENKY JAMES 829 

wreckage from Caligula's galleys, which still lie buried 
in the deepest depth of the water ; on the rock of Nemi, 
and the fortress-like Orsini villa ; on the Alban Mount 
itself, where it cut the clear sky. I presently came up 
with Mr. James and Aristodemo, who led us on serenely, 
a young Hermes in the transfiguring light. One 
almost looked for the winged feet and helmet of the 
messenger god ! Mr. James paused his eyes first on 
the boy, then on the surrounding scene. ' Aristodemo ! ' 
he murmured smiling, and more to himself than me, 
his voice caressing the word ' what a name ! what 
a place ! ' 

On another occasion I recall him in company with 
the well-known antiquary, Signer Lanciani, who came 
over to lunch ; amusing us all by the combination of 
learning with ' le sport ' which he affected. Let me 
quote the account of it given by a girl of the party : 

Signer Lanciani is a great man who combines being the 
top authority in his profession, with a kindness and bonhomie 
which makes even an ignoramus feel happy with him and 
with the frankest love for fidnerie and 'sport.' We all fell in 
love with him. To hear him after lunch in his fluent but 
lisping English holding forth about the ruins of Domitian's 
villa 'what treasures are still to be found in ziz garden if 
somebody would only dig ! ' and saying with excitement 
'ziz town, ziz Castello Gandolfo was built upon the site of 
Alba Longa, not Palazzuola at all. Here, Madame, beneath our*, 
feet, is Alba Longa' And then suddenly a pause, a deep 
sigh from his ample breast, and a whisper on the summer air 
' I vonder vether von could make a golf-links around 
ziz garden ! ' 

And I see still Mr. James's figure strolling along the 
terrace which roofed the crypto-porticus of the Roman 
villa, beside the professor the short coat, the summer 



830 A WRITEB'S KECOLLECTIONS 

hat, the smooth-shaven, finely-cut face, now alive with 
talk and laughter, now shrewdly, one might say coldly 
observant ; the face of a satirist but so human ! 
so alive to all that under-world of destiny through 
which move the weaknesses of men and women. We 
were sorry indeed when he left us. But there were 
many other happy meetings to come through the sixteen 
years that remained ; meetings at Stocks and in London ; 
letters and talks that were landmarks in my literary 
life and in our friendship. Later on I shall quote from 
his ' Eleanor ' letter, the best perhaps of all his critical 
letters to me, though the ' Eobert Elsmere ' letters, 
already published, run it hard. That, too, was followed 
by many more. But as I do not intend to give more 
than a general outline of the years that followed on 
1900, I will record here the last time but one that I 
ever saw Henry James a vision, an impression, which 
the retina of memory will surely keep to the end. It 
was at Grosvenor Place in the autumn of 1915, the 
second year of the war. How doubly close by then 
he had grown to all our hearts ! His passionate sym- 
pathy for England and France, his English naturalisa- 
tion a beau geste indeed, but so sincere, so moving 
the pity and wrath that carried him to sit by wounded 
soldiers, and made him put all literary work aside as 
something not worth doing, so that he might spend 
time and thought on helping the American ambulance 
in France : one must supply all this as the background 
of the scene. 

It was a Sunday afternoon. Our London house 
had been let for a time, but we were in it again for a 
few weeks, drawn into the rushing tide of war-talk and 
war anxieties. The room was full when Henry James 



THE VILLA BAHBERINI. HENBY JAMES 381 

came in. I saw that he was in a stirred, excited mood, 
and the key to it was soon found. He began to repeat 
the conversation of an American envoy to Berlin a 
well-known man to whom he had just been listening. 
He described first the envoy's impression of the German 
leaders, political and military, of Berlin. ' They seemed 
to him like men waiting in a room from which the air 
is being slowly exhausted. They know they can't 
win ! It is only a question of how long, and how much 
damage they can do/ The American further reported 
that after his formal business had been done with 
the Prussian Foreign Minister, the Prussian relaxing his 
whole attitude and offering a cigarette said ' Now 
then let me talk to you frankly, as man to man ! ' and 
began a bitter attack on the attitude of President 

Wilson. Colonel listened, and when the outburst 

was done, said ' Very well ! Then I too will speak 
frankly. I have known President Wilson for many 
years. He is a very strong man, physically and morally. 
You can neither frighten him, nor bluff him ' 

And then springing up in his seat ' And, by 
Heaven, if you want war with America, you can have 
it to-morrow ! ' 

Mr. James's dramatic repetition of this story, his 
eyes on fire, his hand striking the arm of his chair, 
remains with me as my last sight of him in a typical 
representative moment. 

Six months later, on March 6, 1916, my daughter 
and I were guests at the British Headquarters in France. 
I was there at the suggestion of Mr. Roosevelt and by the 
wish of our Foreign Office, in order to collect the impres- 
sions and information that were afterwards embodied 
in ' England's Effort/ We came down ready to start 



382 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

for the front, in a military motor, when our kind officer 
escort handed us some English telegrams which had 
just come in. One of them announced the death of 
Henry James; and all through that wonderful day, 
when we watched a German counter-attack in the Ypres 
salient from one of the hills south-east of Poperinghe, 
the ruined tower of Ypres rising from the mists of the 
horizon, the news was intermittently with me as a dull 
pain, breaking in upon the excitement and novelty 
of the great spectacle around us. 

' A mortal, a mortal is dead / ' 

I was looking over ground where every inch was 
consecrate to the dead sons of England, dead for her ; 
but even through their ghostly voices came the voice 
of Henry James, who, spiritually, had fought in their 
fight and suffered in their pain. 

One year and a month before the American declara^ 
tion of war. What he would have given to see it my 
dear old friend whose life and genius will enter for 
ever into the bonds uniting England and Amercia! 



Yes! 

. . . He was a priest to us all 

Of the wonder and bloom of the world, 

Which we saw with his eyes and were glad. 

For that was indeed true of Henry James, as of 
Wordsworth. The ' wonder and bloom/ no less than 
the ugly or heart-breaking things, which like the dis- 
figuring rags of old Laertes, hide them from us he 
could weave them all, with an untiring hand, into the 
many-coloured web of his art. Olive Chancellor, 
Madame Mauve, Milly, in ' The Wings of a Dove ' the 



THE VILLA BAEBER1NI. HENRY JAMES 383 

most exquisite in some ways of all his women 
Roderick Hudson, St. George, the woman doctor in the 
' Bostonians/ the French family in ' The Reverberator/ 
Brooksmith and innumerable others : it was the 
wealth and facility of it all that was so amazing ! There 
is enough observation of character in a chapter of the 
' Bostonians/ a story he thought little of, and did not 
include in his collected edition, to shame a "Wells novel of 
the newer sort, with its floods of clever half-considered 
journalism in the guise of conversation, hiding an essen- 
tial poverty of creation. ' Ann Veronica ' and the ' New 
Machiavelli/ and several other tales by the same 
writer, set practically the same scene, and handle the 
same characters under different names. Of an art so 
false and confused, Henry James could never have been 
capable. His people, his situations, have the sharp 
separateness and something of the inexhaustibleness 
of nature, which does not mix her moulds. 

As to method, naturally I often discussed with 
him some of the difficult problems of presentation. 
The posthumous sketches of work in progress, pub- 
lished since his death, show how he delighted in these 
problems, in their very difficulties, in their endless 
opportunities. As he often said to me, he could 
never read a novel that interested him without 
taking it mentally to pieces, and re-writing it in his 
own way. Some of his letters to me are brilliant 
examples of this habit of his. Technique presentation 
were then immensely important to him; important 
as they never could have been to Tolstoy, who probably 
thought very little consciously about them. Mr. James, 
as we all know, thought a great deal about them, some- 
times, I venture to think, too much. In * The Wings 



834 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

of a Dove/ for instance, a subject full of beauty 
and tragedy is almost spoilt by an artificial tech- 
nique, which is responsible for a scene on which, 
as it seems to me, the whole illusion of the book is 
shattered. The conversation in the Venice apartment 
where the two fiances one of whom at least, the man, 
is commended to our sympathy as a decent and probable 
human being make their cynical bargain in the very 
presence of the dying Milly, for whose money they are 
plotting, is in some ways a tour de force of construction. 
It is the central point on which many threads converge, 
and from which many depart. But to my mind, as I 
have said, it invalidates the story. Mr. James is here 
writing as a virtuoso, and not as the great artist we 
know him to be. And the same, I think, is true of 
' The Golden Bowl/ That again is a wonderful exercise 
in virtuosity ; but a score of his slighter sketches seem 
to me infinitely nearer to the truth and vitality of 
great art. The book, in which perhaps technique and 
life are most perfectly blended at any rate among the 
later novels is 'The Ambassadors/ There, the skill 
with which a deeply interesting subject is focussed 
from many points of view, but always with the 
fascinating unity given to it, both by the personality 
of the ' Ambassador/ and by the mystery to which 
every chaxacter in the book is related, is kept in its 
place, the servant, not the master, of the theme. And 
the climax which is the river scene, when the ' Am- 
bassador ' penetrates at last the long kept secret of 
the lovers is as right as it is surprising, and sinks 
away through admirable modulations to the necessary 
close. And what beautiful things in the course of 
the handling ! the old French Academician and his 
garden, on the rive gauche, for example ; or the summer 



THE VILLA BABBEBINI. HENRY JAMES 835 

afternoon on the upper Seine, with its pleasure-boats, 
and the red parasol which finally tells all a picture 
drawn with the sparkle and truth of a Daubigny, only 
the better to bring out the unwelcome fact which is its 
centre. ' The Ambassadors ' is the masterpiece of Mr. 
James's later work and manner, just as ' The Portrait 
of a Lady ' is the masterpiece of the earlier. 

And the whole ? his final place ? when the stars 
of his generation rise into their place above the spent 
field ? I, at least, have no doubt whatever about his 
security of fame ; though very possibly he may be no 
more generally read in the time to come than are most 
of the other great masters of literature. Personally, 
I regret that, from ' What Maisie Knew ' onwards, he 
adopted the method of dictation. A mind so teeming, 
and an art so flexible, were surely the better for the 
slight curb imposed by the physical toil of writing. 
I remember how and when we first discussed the 
pros and cons of dictation, on the fell above Cartmel 
Chapel, when he was with us at Levens in 1887. He 
was then enchanted by the endless vistas of work and 
achievement which the new method seemed to open out. 
And indeed it is plain that he produced more with it 
than he could have produced without it. Also, that 
in the use of dictation as in everything else, he showed 
himself the extraordinary craftsman that he was, to 
whom all difficulty was a challenge, and the conquest 
of it a delight. Still, the diffuseness and over-elabora- 
tion which were the natural snares of his astonishing 
gifts were encouraged rather than checked by the new 
method ; and one is jealous of anything whatever 
that may tend to stand between him and the unstinted 
pleasure of those to come after. 

But when these small cavils are douo, one returns 



836 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

in delight and wonder to the accomplished work. To 
the wealth of it above all the deep draughts from 
human life that it represents. It is true indeed that 
there are large tracts of modern existence which Mr. 
James scarcely touches, the peasant life, the industrial 
life, the small trading life, the political life ; though 
it is clear that he divined them all, enough at least 
for his purposes. But in his vast, indeterminate range 
of busy or leisured folk, men and women with breeding 
and without it, backed with ancestors or merely the 
active * sons of their works/ young girls and youths and 
children, he is a master indeed, and there is scarcely 
anything in human feeling, normal or strange, that he 
cannot describe or suggest. If he is without passion, 
as some are ready to declare, so are Stendhal and 
Turgueniev, and half the great masters of the novel ; 
and if he seems sometimes to evade the tragic or 
rapturous moments, it is perhaps only that he may make 
his reader his co-partner, that he may evoke from us 
that heat of sympathy and intelligence which supplies 
the necessary atmosphere for the subtler and greater 
kinds of art. 

And all through, the dominating fact is that it is 
* Henry James ' speaking Henry James, with whose 
delicate, ironic mind and most human heart we are 
in contact. There is much that can be learnt in 
fiction ; the resources of mere imitation, which we 
are pleased to call realism, are endless ; we see them 
in scores of modern books. But at the root of every 
book is the personality of the man who wrote it. 
And in the end, that decides. 



CHAPTER XVII 

ROMAN FRIENDS. ' ELEANOR ' 



THE spring of the following year (1900) saw us again 
in Rome. We spent our April fortnight there, of which 
I specially remember some amusing hours with Sir 
William Harcourt. I see myself, for instance, as a 
rather nervous tourist in his wake and that of the 
very determined wife of a young diplomat, storming 
the Vatican library at an hour when a bland custode 
assured us firmly it was not open to visitors. But Sir 
William's great height and bulk, aided by his pretty 
companion's self-will, simply carried us through the 
gates by their natural momentum. Father Ehrle was 
sent for and came, and we spent a triumphant and 
delightful hour. After all one is not an ex-British 
Cabinet Minister for nothing. Sir William was per- 
fectly civil to everybody, with a blinking smile like 
that of the Cheshire cat ; but nothing stopped him. 
I laugh still at the remembrance. On the way home it 
was wet, and he and I shared a legno. I remember we 
talked of Mr. Chamberlain, with whom at that moment 
May 1899 Sir William was not in love ; and of Lord 
Hartington. ' Hartington came to me one day when 

337 



333 A WEITEB'S EECOLLECTIONS 

we were both serving under Mr. G., and said to me 
in a temper " I wish I could get Gladstone to answer 
letters." " My dear fellow, he always answers letters." 
" Well I have been trying to do something and I can't 
get a word out of him." ' What have you been trying 
to do ? " " Well, to tell the truth, I've been trying 
to make a bishop." " Have you ? Not much in 
your line I should think. Now if it had been 

something about a horse " " Don't be absurd. 

He would have made a very good bishop. C and 

S (naming two well-known Liberals) told me I 

must so I wrote and not a word ! Very uncivil, 
I call it." " Who was it ? " " Oh, I can't remember. 
Let me think. Oh, yes, it was a man with a double 
name Llewellyn-Davies." Sir William, with a shout 
of laughter " Why, I have been trying for five years 
to get him made a Canon ! " 

The following year I sent him ' Eleanor,' as a reminder 
of our meeting in Home, and he wrote : 

To me the revisiting of Home is the brightest of the day- 
dreams of life, and I treasure all its recollections. After the 
disappointment of the day when we were to have seen Albano 
and Nerni under your guidance, we managed the expedition, 
and were entranced with the scene even beyond our hopes, 
and since that time I have lived through it again in the pages 
of ' Eleanor,' which I read with greediness, waiting each number 
as it appeared. 

Now about Manisty. What a fortunate beggar, to have 
two such charming women in love with him ! It is always 
no. The less a man deserves it the more they adore him. 
That is the advantage you women-writers have. You always 
figure men as they are and women as they ought to be. If 
I had the composition of the history I should never represent 
two women behaving so well to one another under the circum- 
stances. Even American girls, according to my observation, 



ROMAN FBIENDS. ' ELEANOE ' 83U 

do not shew so much toleration to their rivals, even though 
in the end they carry off their man. . . . 

Your sincerely attached 

W. V. HARCOURT. 

II 

Let me detach a few other figures from a gay and 
crowded time, the ever-delightful and indefatigable 
Boni Commendatore Boni for instance. To hear 
him talk in the Forum or hold forth at a small 
gathering of friends on the problems of the earliest 
Italian races, and the causes that met in the founding 
and growth of Rome, was to understand how no scholar 
or archaologist can be quite first-rate who is not also 
something of a poet. The sleepy blue eyes, so suddenly 
alive ; the apparently languid manner which was the 
natural defence against the outer world of a man all 
compact of imagination and sleepless energy ; the 
touch in him of ' the imperishable child/ combined 
with the brooding intensity of the explorer who is 
always guessing at the next riddle ; the fun, simplicity, 
bonhomie he showed with those who knew him well : 
all these are vividly present to me. 

So too are the very different characteristics of Mon- 
seigneur Duchesne, the French Lord Acton ; like him, a 
Liberal and a man of vast learning, tarred with the 
Modernist brush in the eyes of the Vatican, but at 
heart also, like Lord Acton, by the testimony of all who 
know, a simple and convinced believer. 

When we met Monseigneur Duchesne at the house of 
Count Ugo Balzani, or in the drawing-room of the French 
Embassy, all that showed, at first, was the witty ecclesi- 
astic of the old school, an abbe of the eighteenth century, 
fin, shrewd, well versed in men and affairs, and capable 



340 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

of throwing an infinity of meaning into the inflection 
of a word, or the lift of an eyebrow. I remember 
listening to an account by him of certain ceremonies 
in the catacombs in which he had taken part, in the 
train of an Ultramontane Cardinal whom he particularly 
disliked. He himself had preached the sermon. A 
member of the party said, ' I hear your audience were 
greatly moved, Monsignore.' Duchesne bowed, with 
just a touch of irony. Then someone who knew the 
Cardinal well and the relation between him and 
Duchesne, said with malice prepense, ' Was his Eminence 
moved, Monsignore ? ' Duchesne looked up, and shook 
off the end of his cigarette 'Non, Monsieur/ he said 
drily, ' his Eminence was not moved oh, not at all ! ' 
A ripple of laughter went round the group which had 
heard the question. For a second, Duchesne's eyes 
laughed too, and were then as impenetrable as before. 
My last remembrance of him is as the centre of a small 
party in one of the famous rooms of the Palazzo 
Borghese which were painted by the Caracci ; this 
time in a more serious and communicative mood, so 
that one realised in him more clearly the cosmopolitan 
and liberal scholar, whose work on the early Papacy, 
and the origins of Christianity in Home is admired 
and used by men of all faiths and none. Shortly 
afterwards, a Roman friend of ours, an English- 
man who knew Monseigneur Duchesne well, described 
to me the impressions of an English Catholic who 
had gone with him to Egypt on some learned 
mission, and had been thrown for a time into relations 
of intimacy with him. My friend reported the touch 
OJL astonishment in the Englishman's mind, as he became 
aware of the religious passion in his companion, the 



ROMAN FRIENDS. ' ELEANOR ' 341 

devotion of his daily mass, the rigour and simplicity 
of his personal life ; and we both agreed that as long 
as Catholicism could produce such types, men at once 
so daring and so devout, so free, and yet so penetrated 
with so steeped in the immemorial life of Catholicism, 
the Roman Church was not likely to perish out of 
Europe. 

Let me however contrast with Monseigneur Duchesne 
another Catholic personality that of Cardinal Vaughan. 
I remember being asked to join a small group of people 
who were to meet Cardinal Vaughan on the steps of 
St. Peter's, and to go with him, and Canon Oakley, an 
English convert to Catholicism, through the famous 
crypt and its monuments. We stood for some twenty 
minutes outside St. Peter's, while Cardinal Vaughan, in 
the manner of a cicerone reeling off his task, gave us in 
extenso the legendary stories of St. Peter's and St. Paul's 
martyrdoms. Not a touch of criticism, of knowledge, of 
insight : a childish tale, told by a man who had never 
asked himself for a moment whether he really believed 
it. I stood silently by him, inwardly comparing 
the performance with certain pages by the Abbe 
Duchesne, which I had just been reading. Then 
we descended to the crypt, the Cardinal first kneeling 
at the statue of St. Peter. The crypt, as every- 
one knows, is full of fragments from Christian 
antiquity, sarcophagi of early Popes, indications of 
the structures that preceded the present building, 
fragments from papal tombs, and so on. But it was 
quite useless to ask the Cardinal for an explanation 
or a date. He knew nothing ; and he had never cared 
to know. Again and again, I thought, as we passed 
some shrine or sarcophagus bearing a name or names 



842 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

that sent a thrill through one's historical sense ' If 
only J. R. Green were here ! how these dead bones 
would live ! ' But the agnostic historian was in his 
grave, and the Prince of the Roman Church passed 
ignorantly and heedlessly by. 

A little while before, I had sat beside the Cardinal 
at a luncheon party, where the case of Dr. Schell, the 
Rector of the Catholic University of Wurzburg, who 
had published a book condemned by the Congregation 
of the Index, came up for discussion. Dr. Schell's 
book, ' Catholicismus und Fortschritt/ was a plea on 
behalf cf the Catholic Universities of Bavaria against 

O 

the Jesuit seminaries which threatened to supplant them ; 
and he had shown with striking clearness the disastrous 
results which the gradual narrowing of Catholic educa- 
tion had had on the Catholic culture of Bavaria. The 
Jesuit influence at Rome had procured the condemnation 
of the book. Dr. Schell at first submitted ; then, just 
before the luncheon party at which I was present, 
withdrew his submission. 

I saw the news given to the Cardinal. He shrugged 
his shoulders. ' Oh, poor fellow ! ' he said ' Poor 
fellow ! ' It was not said unkindly, rather with a 
kind of easy pity ; but the recollection came back to 
me in the crypt of St Peter's, and I seemed to see the 
man who could not shut his ear to knowledge and 
history struggling in the grip of men like the Cardinal, 
who knew no history. 

Echoes and reflections from these incidents will 
be found in ' Eleanor/ and it was the case of Dr. 
Schell that suggested Father Benecke. 



ROMAN FRIENDS. 'ELEANOR' 843 

III 

So the full weeks passed on. Half ' Eleanor ' 
had been written, and in June we turned homewards. 
But before then, one visitor came to the Villa Barberini 
in our last weeks there, who brought with him, for 
myself, a special and peculiar joy. My dear father, 
with his second wife, arrived to spend a week with us. 
Never before, throughout all his ardent Catholic life, 
had it been possible for him to tread the streets of Rome, 
or kneel in St Peter's. At last, the year before his 
death, he was to climb the Janiculum, and to look out 
over the city and the plain whence Europe received 
her civilisation and the vast system of the Catholic 
Church. He felt as a Catholic ; but hardly less as 
a scholar, one to whom Horace and Virgil had been 
familiar from his boyhood, the greater portion of them 
known by heart, to a degree which is not common now. 
I remember well that one bright May morning at Castel 
Gandolfo, he vanished from the Villa, and presently 
after some hours reappeared with shining eyes. 

' I have been on the Appian Way I have walked 
where Horace walked ! ' 

In his own autobiography he writes : ' In proportion 
to a man's good sense and soundness of feeling arc 
the love and admiration, increasing with his years, which 
he bears towards Horace/ An old-world judgment, 
some will say, which to us, immersed in this deluge of 
war which is changing the face of all things, may sound, 
perhaps, as a thin and ghostly voice from far away. 
It comes from the Oxford of Newman and Matthew 
Arnold, of Jowett, and Clough ; and for the moment, 
amid the thunder and anguish of our time, it is almost 



844 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

strange to our ears. But when the tumult and the 
shouting die, and ' peace has calmed the world/ what- 
ever else may have passed, the poets and the thinkers 
will be still there, safe in their old shrines, for they are 
the ' ageless mouths ' of all mankind, when men are 
truly men. The supposed reformers, who thirst for 
the death of classical education, will not succeed, 
because man doth not live by bread alone, and certain 
imperishable needs in him have never been so fully 
met as by some Greeks and some Latins, writing in 
a vanished society, which yet, by reason of their thought 
and genius, is still in some real sense ours. More 
science ? More foreign languages ? More technical 
arts ? Yes ! All these. But if democracy is to mean 
the disappearance of the Greek and Latin poets from 
the minds of the future leaders of our race, the 
history of three thousand years is there to show what 
the impoverishment will be. 

As to this, a personal experience, even from one 
who in Greek literature is only a ' proselyte of the 
gate/ may not be without interest. I shall never 
forget the first time when, in middle life, I read in the 
Greek, so as to understand and enjoy, the * Agamemnon ' 
of jEschylus. The feeling of sheer amazement at the 
range and power of human thought and at such a 
date in history which a leisurely and careful reading 
of that play awakened in me, left deep marks behind. 
It was as though for me, thenceforward, the human in- 
tellect had been suddenly related, much more clearly 
than ever before, to an absolute, ineffable source, ' not 
itself/ So that, in realising the greatness of the mind 
of ^schylus, the creative Mind from which it sprang 
had in some new and powerful way touched my 



BOMAN FRIENDS. ' ELEANOR ' 845 

own ; with both new light on the human Past, and 
mysterious promise for the Future. Now, for many 
years, the daily reading of Greek and Latin has been 
not only a pleasure, but the only continuous bit of 
mental discipline I have been able to keep up. 

I do not believe this will seem exaggerated to those 
on whom Greek poetry and life have really worked. 
My father, or the Master, or Matthew Arnold, had 
any amateur spoken in similar fashion to them, would 
have smiled, but only as those do who are in secure 
possession of some precious thing, on the eagerness of 
the novice who has just laid a precarious hold upon it. 

At any rate, as I look back upon my father's 
life of constant labour and many baffled hopes, there 
are at least two bright lights upon the scene. He 
had the comfort of religious faith, and the double 
joy of the scholar and of the enthusiast for letters. He 
would not have bartered these great things, these 
seeming phantoms 

Eternal as the recurrent cloud, as air 
Imperative, refreshful as dawn-dew 

for any of the baser goods that we call real. 

A year and a half after his visit to Rome, he died 
in Dublin, where he had been for years a Fellow and 
Professor of the Irish University, occupied in lecturing 
on English literature, and in editing some of the most 
important English Chronicles for the Rolls Series. His 
monument, a beautiful medallion by Mr. Derwent Wood, 
which recalls him to the life, hangs on the wall of the 
University Church, in Stephen's Green, which was 
built in Newman's time, and under his superintendence, 
The only other monument in the Church is that to 
the great Cardinal himself. So once more, as in 1886, 



346 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

they the preacher and his convert are together. 
' Domine, Deus meus, in Te speravi/ So, on my father's 
tablet, runs the text below the quiet, sculptured face. 
It expresses the root fact of his life. 

IV 

A few weeks before my father's death ' Eleanor ' 
appeared. It had taken me a year and a quarter to 
write, and I had given it full measure of work. Henry 
James wrote to me, on receipt of it, that it gave him 

the chance to overflow into my favourite occupation of re- 
writing as I read, such fiction as I can read. I took this liberty 
in an inordinate degree with Eleanor and I always feel it 
the highest tribute I can pay. I recomposed and re-constructed 
her from head to foot which I give you for the real measure 
of what I think of her. I think her, less obscurely a thing 
of rare beauty, a large and noble performance, rich, complex, 
comprehensive, deeply interesting and highly distinguished. 
I congratulate you heartily on having men6 & bonne fin so 
intricate and difficult a problem, and on having seen your sub- 
ject so wrapped in its air and so bristling with its relations. 
I should say that you had done nothing more homogeneous, 
nor more hanging and moving together. It has Beauty the 
book, the theme, and treatment alike, is magnificently mature, 
and is really a delightful thing to have been able to do to 
have laid at the old golden door of the beloved Italy. You 
deserve well of her. I can't ' criticise ' though I could (that 
is I did but can't do it again) re-write. The thing's infinitely 
delightful and distinguished and that's enough. The success 
of it, specifically, to my sense is Eleanor, admirably sustained 
in the ' high-note ' way, without a break or a drop. She is a 
very exquisite and very rendered conception. I won't grossly 
pretend to you that I think the book hasn't a weakness and 
rather a grave one, or you will doubt of my intelligence. It has 
one, and in this way, to my troubled sense ; that the anti- 



ROMAN FRIENDS. 'ELEANOR' 84? 

thesis on which your subject rests isn't a real, valid anti-thesis. 
It was utterly built, your subject, by your intention, of course, 
on one ; but the one you chose seems to me not efficiently to 
have operated, so that if the book is so charming and touching 
even so, that is a proof of your affluence. Lucy has in respect 
to Eleanor that is the image of Lucy that you have tried to 
teach yourself to see has no true, no adequate, no logical 
antithetic force and this is not only, I think, because the girl 
is done a little more de chic than you would really have liked to 
do her, but because the nearer you had got to her type the less 
she would have served that particular condition of your subject. 
You went too far for her, or going so far, should have brought 
her back roughly speaking stronger. (Irony (and various 
things !) should at its hour have presided.) But I throw out 
that more imperfectly, I recognise, than I should wish. It 
doesn't matter, and not a solitary reader in your millions, or 
critic in your hundreds, will either have missed, or have made 
it ! And when a book's beautiful, nothing does matter ! I 
hope greatly to see you after the New Year. Good night. It's 
my usual 1.80 A.M. 

Yours, dear Mrs. Ward, always, 

HENRY JAMES. 

I could not but feel indeed that the book had given 
great pleasure to those I might well wish to please. 
My old friend, Mr. Frederic Harrison, wrote to me : 
' I have read it all through with great attention and 
delight, and have returned to it again and again. . . . 
I am quite sure that it is the most finished and artistic of 
all your books and one of the most subtle and graceful 
things in all our modern fiction/ And Charles Eliot 
Norton's letter from Shady Hill, the letter of one who 
never praised perfunctorily or insincerely made me 
glad :- 

' It would be easier to write about the book to anyone 
else but you. . . . You have added to the treasures 



848 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

of English imaginative literature, and no higher reward 
than this can any writer hope to gain/ The well-known 
and much loved editor of the Century, Richard Watson 
Gilder, ' on this the last Sunday of the nineteenth 
century ' so he headed his letter sat down to give a 
long hour of precious time to ' Eleanor 's ' distant author. 

How can you reconcile it to your conscience to write a book 
like ' Eleanor ' that keeps a poor fellow reading it to a finish 
till after three in the morning ? Not only that but that keeps 
him sobbing and sighing ' like a furnace,' that charms him and 
makes him angry that hurts and delights him, and will not 
let him go till all is done ! Yes, there are some things I might 
quarrel with but ah, how much you give of Italy of the 
English, of the American three nations so well-beloved ; 
and how much of things deeper than peoples or countries. 

Imagine me at our New England farm with the younger 
part of the family in my annual ' retreat.' Last year at this 
time I was here, with the thermometer a dozen degrees below 
zero ; now it is milder but cold, bleak, snowy. Yesterday we 
were fishing for pickerel through the ice at Hayes's Pond 
in a wilderness where fox abound and where bear and deer 
make rare appearances all within a few miles of Lenox and 
Stockbridge. The farmer's family is at one end of the long 
farm house I am at the other. It is a great place to read 
one reads here with a sort of lonely passion. You know the 
landscape it is in ' Eleanor.' Last night (or this morning) I 
wanted to talk with you about your book or telegraph but 
here I am calmly trying to thank you both for sending us the 
copy and, too, for writing it. 

Of the ' deeper things ' I can really say nothing except 
that I feel their truth, and am grateful for them. But may I 
not applaud (even the Pope is ' applauded,' you know) such a 
perfect touch as for instance in Chapter XVI ' the final 
softening of that sweet austerity which hid Lucy's heart of 
gold' ; and again ' Italy without the forestieri ' ' like surprising 
a bird on its nest ' ; and the scene beheld of Eleanor Lucy 



ROMAN FRIENDS. ' ELEANOR ' 849 

pressing the terra-cotta to her lips ; and Italy ' having not 
enough faith to make a heresy ' (true, too, of France, is it not?) 
and Chapter XXIII ' a base and plundering happiness ' ; 
then the scene of the confessional ; and that sudden phrase of 
Eleanor's in her talk with Manisty that makes the whole 
world and the whole book right ; ' She loves you I ' That 
is art. . . . But above all, my dear lady, acknowledgements 
and praise for the hand that created * Lucy ' that recreated 
rather my dear country-woman ! Truly, that is an accom- 
plishment and one that will endear its author to the whole 
new world. 

And again one asks whether the readers that now 
are write such generous, such encouraging things to 
the makers of tales, as the readers of twenty years ago ! 
If not, I cannot but think it is a loss. For praise is a 
great tonic, and helps most people to do their best. 



It was during our stay on the Alban Hills that I 
first became conscious in myself, after a good many 
springs spent in Italy, of a deep and passionate sympathy 
for the modern Italian State and people ; a sympathy 
widely different from that common temper in the 
European traveller which regards Italy as the European 
playground, picture gallery, and curiosity shop, and 
grudges the smallest encroachment by the needs of the 
new nation on the picturesque ruin of the past. Italy 
in 1899 was passing through a period of humiliation 
and unrest. The defeats of the luckless Erythrean 
expedition were still hot in Italian memory. The 
extreme Catholic party at home, the sentimental 
Catholic tourist from abroad, were equally contemptuous 
and critical ; and I was often indignantly aware of a 
tone which seemed to me ungenerous and unjust towards 
the struggling Italian State, on the part of those who 



350 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

had really most cause to be grateful for all that the 
youngest and oldest of European Powers had done 
in the forty years since 1860 to furnish itself with the 
necessary equipment, moral, legal and material, of a 
modern democracy. 

This vein of feeling finds expression in 'Eleanor.' 
Manisty represents the scornful dilettante, the impatient 
accuser of an Italy he does not attempt to understand ; 
while the American Lucy, on the other side, draws 
from her New England tradition a glowing sympathy 
for the Risorgimento and its fruits, for the efforts 
and sacrifices from which modern Italy arose, that 
refuses to be chilled by the passing corruptions and 
scandals of the new regime. Her influence prevails 
and Manisty recants. He spends six solitary weeks 
wandering through middle Italy, in search of the 
fugitives Eleanor and Lucy who have escaped him 
and at the end of it, he sees the old, old country 
and her people with new eyes which are Lucy's eyes. 

* What rivers what fertility what a climate ! And the 
industry of the people ! Catch a few English farmers and set 
them to do what the Italian peasant does, year in and year 
out, without a murmur ! Look at all the coast south of 
Naples. There is not a yard of it 1 , scarcely, that hasn't been 
made by human hands. Look at the hill -towns ; and think 
of the human toil that has gone to the making and maintaining 
of them since the world began. . . . Ecco ! there they are '- 
and he pointed down the river to the three or four distant 
towns, each on its mountain spur, that held the valley between 
them and Orvieto, pale jewels on the purple robe of rock and 
wood ' So Virgil saw them. So the latest sons of time shall 
see them the homes of a race that we chatter about without 
understanding the most laborious race in the wide world. 
. . . Anyway, as I have been going up and down their country, 
. . . prating about their poverty, and their taxes, their 



EOMAN FEIENDS. ' ELEANOR ' 351 

corruption, the incompetence of their leaders, the mischief of 
their quarrel with the Church ; I have been finding myself 
caught in the grip of things older and deeper incredibly, 
primevally old ! that still dominate everything, shape every- 
thing here. There are forces in Italy, forces of land and soil 
and race only now fully let loose that will remake Church 
no less than State, as the generations go by. Sometimes I 
have felt as though this country were the youngest in Europe ; 
with a future as fresh and teeming as the future of America. 
And yet one thinks of it at other times as one vast graveyard ; 
so thick it is with the ashes and the bones of men ! The 
Pope and Crispi ! waves, both of them, on a sea of life that 
gave them birth <: with equal mind " ; and that " with equal 
mind " will sweep them both to its own goal not theirs ! . . . 
No there are plenty of dangers ahead. . . . Socialism is 
serijus ; Sicily is serious ; the economic difficulties are serious ; 
the House of Savoy will have a rough task, perhaps, to ride 
the seas that may come. But Italy is safe. You can no more 
undo what has been done than you can replace the child in 
the womb. The birth is over. The organism is still weak, 
but it lives. And the forces behind it are, indefinitely, 
mysteriously stronger than its adversaries think.' 

In this mood it was that, when the book came out 
in the autumn of 1900, 1 prefixed to it the dedication 
' To Italy, the beloved and beautiful, Instructress of 
our past, Delight of our present, Comrade of our future, 
the heart of an Englishwoman offers this book/ 

' Comrade of our future.' As one looks out to-day 
upon the Italian fighting line, where English troops are 
interwoven with those of Italy and France for the 
defence of the Lombard and Venetian plain against 
the attack of Italy's old and bitter enemy, an attack 
in which are concerned not only the fortunes of Italy, 
but those also of the British Empire, I wonder what 
touch of prophecy, what whisper from a far-off day 
these words written eighteen years ago ? 



EPILOGUE 

AND here, for a time at least, I bring these ' Recollec- 
tions ' to an end with the century in which I was born, 
and my own fiftieth year. Since ' Eleanor ' appeared, 
and my father died, eighteen years have gone years 
for me of constant work, literary and other. On the 
one hand, increasing interest in and pre-oceupation 
with politics, owing to personal links and friendships, 
and a life spent, as to half the year, in London, have 
been reflected in my books ; and on the other, the 
English rural scene, with its country houses and villages, 
its religion, and its elements of change and revolution, 
has been always at my home gates, as a perpetually 
interesting subject. Old historic situations, also, have 
come to life for me again in new surroundings, as in 
' Lady Rose's Daughter/ ' The Marriage of William 
Ashe/ and ' Fenwick's Career ' ; in ' Richard Meynell ' 
I attempted the vision of a Church of England recreated 
from within, with a rebel, and not as in ' Robert 
Elsmere ' an exile, for a hero ; ' Lady Connie ' is a 
picture of Oxford, as I saw her in my youth, as faithful 
as I can now make it ; ' Eltham House ' is a return to 
the method of ' William Ashe/ and both ' Lady Connie ' 
and * Missing ' have been written since the war. 
' Missing ' takes for its subject a fragment from 
the edge of that vast upheaval which no novel of real 
life in future will be able to leave out of its ken. In the 

3~>2 



EPILOGUE 353 

first two years of the war, the cry both of writers and 
public so far as the literature of imagination was con- 
cerned tended to be * anything but the war ! ' There 
was an eager wish in both, for a time, in the first 
onrush of the great catastrophe, to escape from it and 
the newspapers, into the world behind it. That world 
looks to us now as the Elysian fields looked to ^Eneas 
as he approached them from the heights full not only 
of souls in a blessed calm, but of those also who had yet 
to make their way into existence as it terribly is, had 
still to taste reality and pain. We were thankful for 
a time to go back to that kind, unconscious, unfore- 
seeing world. But it is no longer possible. The war 
has become our life, and will be so for years after the 
signing of peace. 

As to the three main interests, outside my home life, 
which, as I look back upon half a century, seem to have 
held sway over my thoughts contemporary literature, 
religious development, and social experiment one is 
tempted to say a few last summarising things, though, 
amid the noise of war, it is hard to say them with any 
real detachment of mind. 

When we came up to London in 1881, George Eliot 
was just dead (December 1880) ; Browning and Carlyle 
passed away in the course of the eighties ; Tennyson 
in 1892. I saw the Tennyson funeral in the Abbey, 
and remember it vividly. The burying of Mr. Glad- 
stone was more stately, this of Tennyson, as befitted 
a poet, had a more intimate beauty. A great multitude 
filled the Abbey, and the rendering, hi Sir Frederick 
Bridge's setting, of ' Crossing the Bar ' by the Abbey 
Choir sent the ' wild echoes ' of the dead man's verse 
flying up and on through the great arches overhead 



854 A WEITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

with a dramatic effect not to be forgotten. Yet the 
fame of the poet was waning when he died, and has 
been hotly disputed since ; though, as it seems to 
me, these later years have seen the partial return of 
an ebbing tide. What was merely didactic in Tennyson 
is dead years ago ; the difficulties of faith and philosophy, 
with which his own mind had wrestled, were, long 
before his death, swallowed up in others far more vital, 
to which his various optimisms, for all the grace in 
which he clothed them, had no key, or suggestion of 
a key, to offer. The Idylls, so popular in their day, 
and almost all indeed of the narrative and dramatic 
work, no longer answer to the needs of a generation 
that has learnt from younger singers and thinkers a 
more restless method, a more poignant and discon- 
tented thought. A literary world fed on Meredith and 
Henry James, on Ibsen or Bernard Shaw or Anatole 
France, on Synge or Yeats, rebels against the versified 
argument, however musical or skilful, built up in ' In 
Memoriam/ and makes mock of what it conceives to 
be the false history and weak sentiment of the Idylls. 
All this, of course, is true, and has been said a thousand 
times, but and here again the broad verdict is emerging 
it does not touch the lyrical fame of a supreme 
lyrical poet. It may be that one small volume will 
ultimately contain all that is really immortal in 
Tennyson's work. But that volume, it seems to me, 
will be safe among the golden books of our literature, 
cherished alike by young lovers and the ' drooping 
old/ 

I only remember seeing Tennyson twice : once in 
a crowded drawing-room, and once on the slopes of 
Blackdown, in his big cloak. The strong set face under 



EPILOGUE 866 

the wide-awake, the energy of undefeated age that 
breathed from the figure, remains with me, stamped 
on my memory, like the gentle face of Mrs. Words- 
worth, or a passing glimpse a gesture of George 
Meredith as we met on the threshold of Mr. Cotter 
Morison's house at Hampstead, one day perhaps in 
'86 or '87, and he turned his handsome curly head with 
a smile and a word when Mr. Morison introduced us. 
He was then not yet sixty, already a little lame, but the 
radiant physical presence scarcely marred. We had 
some passing talk that day, but to my infinite regret 
that was the only time I ever saw him. Of his 
work and his genius I began to be aware, when 
' Beauchamp's Career ' a much truncated version- 
was coming out in the Fortnightly in 1874. I had 
heard him and his work discussed in the Lincoln 
circle, where both the Pattisons were quite alive to 
Meredith's quality ; but I was at the time and for 
long afterwards under the spell of the French limpidity 
and clarity, and the Meredithian manner repelled 
me. About the same time, when I was no more than 
three or four and twenty, I remember a visit to Cam- 
bridge, when we spent a week-end at the Bull Hotel, 
and were the guests by day of Frederic Myers, and 
some of his Trinity and King's friends. Those two 
days of endless talk in beautiful College rooms with 
men like Frederic Myers, Edmund Gurney, Mr. Gerald 
Balfour, Mr. George Prothero, and others, left a deep 
mark on me. Cambridge seemed to me then a hearth 
whereon the flame of thought burnt with far greater 
dating and freedom than at Oxford. Men were not 
BO afraid of each other ; the sharp religious divisions 
of Oxford were absent ; ideas were thrown up like 



856 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

balls in air, sure that some light hand would catch 
and pass them on. And among the subjects which 
rose and fell in that warm electric atmosphere, was 
the emergence of a new and commanding genius in 
George Meredith. The place in literature that some 
of these brilliant men were already giving to ' Richard 
Feverel/ which had been published some fifteen years 
earlier, struck me greatly ; but if I was honest with 
myself, my enthusiasm wa^ much more qualified than 
theirs. It was not till ' Diana of the Crossways ' 
came out, after we had moved to London, that the 
Meredithian power began to grip me ; and to this 
day the saturation with French books and French 
ideals that I owed to my uncle's influence during our 
years at Oxford, stands somewhat between me and 
a great master. And yet, in this case, as in that of 
Mr. James, there is no doubt that difficulty even 
obscurity ! are part of the spell. The man behind 
is great enough, and rewards the reader's effort to 
understand him with a sense of heightened power, just 
as a muscle is strengthened by exercise. In other 
words, the effort is worth while ; we are admitted 
by it to a world of beauty or romance or humour that 
without it we should not know ; and with the thing 
gained, goes, as in Alpine climbing, the pleasure of the 
effort itself. 

Especially is this the case in poetry, where the 
artist's thought fashions for itself a manner more 
intimate and personal, than in prose. George Meredith's 
poetry is still only the possession of a minority, 
even among those who form the poetic audience 
of a generation. There are many of us who have 
wanted much help, in regard to it, from others the 



EPILOGUE 857 

young and ardent who are the natural initiates, the 
' Mystae ' of the poetic world. But once let the strange 
and poignant magic of it, its music in discord, its 
sharp sweetness, touch the inward ear : thenceforward 
we shall follow its piping. 

Let me record another regret for another lost 
opportunity. In spite of common friends, and worlds 
that might have met, I never saw Robert Louis 
Stevenson the writer who more, perhaps, than any 
other of his generation touched the feeling and won 
the affection of his time. And that by a double spell 
of the life lived and the books written. Stevenson's 
hold both upon his contemporaries, and those who 
since his death have had only the printed word of 
his letters and tales whereby to approach him, has 
not been without some points of likeness amid great 
difference to the hold of the Brontes on their day 
and ours. The sense of an unsurpassable courage 
against great odds has been the same in both cases ; 
and a great tenderness in the public mind for work 
so gallant, so defiant of ill fortune, so loyal to its own 
aims. In Stevenson's case, quite apart from the claims 
of his work as literature, there was also an added 
element, which, with all their genius, the Brontes did 
not possess the element of charm, the petit carillon, 
to which Renan attributed his own success in literature : 
undefinable, always, this last ! but supreme. 1 There 
is scarcely a letter of Stevenson's that is without it, 
it plays about the slender volumes of essays or of 
travel that we know so well ; but it is present not only 
in the lighter books and tales, not only in the enchant- 
ing fairy-tale, ' Prince Otto,' but in his most tragic, 

1 Tt yap xapiTW dyanarbv 'Av0p<!t>7rois drrdvfvdfv ; 



358 A WRITER'S EECOLLECTIONS 

or his most intellectual work in the fragment ' Weir 
of Hermiston/ or in that fine piece of penetrating 
psychology and admirable narrative, ' The Master 
of BaHantrae/ It may, I think, be argued whether, 
in the far future, Stevenson will be more widely and 
actively remembered whether he will enter into the 
daily pleasure of those who love literature more as a 
letter- writer, or more as a writer of fiction. Whether, 
in other words, his own character and personality 
will not prove the enduring thing, rather than the 
characters he created. The volumes of letters, with 
their wonderful range and variety, their humour, 
their bravery, their vision whether of persons or 
scenes already mean to some of us more than his 
stories, dear to us as these are. 

He died in his forty-fifth year, at the height of his 
power. If he had lived ten twenty years longer, 
he might well have done work that would have set 
him with Scott in the history of letters. As it is, he 
remains the most graceful and appealing, the most 
animated and delightful figure in the literary history 
of the late nineteenth century. He is sure of his 
place. ' Myriad-footed Time will discover many other 
inventions ; but mine are mine ! ' And to that final 
award his poems no less than his letters will richly 
contribute the haunting beauty of the ' Requiem/ 
the noble lines ' To my Father/ the lovely verses 
' In memory of F. A. S. ' surely immortal, so long 
as mother-hearts endure. 

Another great name was steadily rinding its place 
during our first London years. Thomas Hardy had 
already published some of his best novels in the seventies, 
and was in full production all through the eighties and 



EPILOGUE 859 

nineties. The first of the Hardy novels that strongly 
affected me was the ' Return of the Native/ and I did 
not read it till some time after its publication. Although 
there had been a devoted, and constantly growing 
audience for Mr. Hardy's books for twenty years before 
the publication of ' Tess of the Durbervilles/ my own re- 
collection is that Tess marked the conversion of the larger 
public, who then began to read all the earlier books, in 
that curiously changed mood which sets in when a writer 
is no longer on trial, but has, so to speak, ' made good. 

And since that date how intimately have the scenes 
and characters of Mr. Hardy's books entered into the 
mind and memory of his country, compelling many 
persons, slowly and by degrees I count myself among 
this tardy company to realise their truth, sincerity 
and humanity, in spite of the pessimism with which 
so many of them are tinged ; their beauty also, not- 
withstanding the clashing discords that a poet, who is 
also a realist, cannot fail to strike ; their permanence in 
English literature ; and the greatness of Mr. Hardy's 
genius ! Personally, I would make only one exception. 
I wish Mr. Hardy had not written ' Jude the Obscure ' ! 
On the other hand, in the three volumes of ' The 
Dynasts/ he has given us one of the noblest, and possibly 
one of the most fruitful experiments in recent English 
letters. 

Far more rapid was the success of Mr. Kipling, which 
came a decade later than Mr. Hardy's earlier novels. 
It thrills one's literary pulse now to look back to those 
early paper-covered treasures, written by a youth, a 
boy, of genius ; which for the first time made India 
interesting to hundreds of thousands in the Western 
world ; which were the heralds also of a life's work of 



860 A WKITEB'S RECOLLECTIONS 

thirty years, unfailingly rich, and still unspent ! The 
debt that two generations owe to Mr. Kipling is, I 
think, past calculating. There is a poem of his specially 
dear to me ' To the True Romance/ It contains to 
my thinking the very essence and spirit of his work. 
Through all realism, through all technical accomplish- 
ment, through all the marvellous and detailed know- 
ledge he has accumulated on this wonderful earth, there 
rings the lovely Linos-song of the higher imagination, 
which is the enduring salt of art. Whether it is Mowgli, 
or Kim, or the Brushwood Boy, or McAndrew, or the 
Centurion of the Roman Wall, or the trawlers and sub- 
marines and patrol boats to which he lends actual life 
and speech, he carries through all the great company 
the flag of his lady the flag of the ' True Romance/ 
It was Meredith's flag, and Stevenson's and Scott's it 
comes handed down in an endless chain from the story- 
tellers of old Greece. For a man to have taken undis- 
puted place in that succession is, I think, the best 
and most that literary man can do. And that it has 
fallen to our generation to watch and rejoice in Rudyard 
Kipling's work may be counted among those gifts of the 
gods which bring no nemesis with them. 

Another star was it the one that danced when 
Beatrice was born ? was rising about the same time 
as Rudyard Kipling's. ' The Window in Thrums ' 
appeared in 1889 & master-piece to set beside the 
French masterpiece, drawn likewise from peasant life, 
of almost the same date, ' Pecheur d'Islande. ' Barrie's 
gift, also, has been a gift making for the joy of his genera- 
tion ; he too has carried the flag of the True Romance 
slight, twinkling, fantastic thing, compared to that of 
Kipling, but consecrate to the same great service. 



EPILOGUE 361 

And then beside this group of men, who, dealing 
as they constantly are with the most prosaic and 
intractable material, are yet poets at heart, there appears 
that other group who, headed perhaps by Mr. Shaw, 
and kindred in method with Thomas Hardy, are the 
chief gods of a younger race, as hostile to ' sentiment- 
alism' as George Meredith, but without either the 
power or the wish to replace it by the forces of 
the poetic imagination. Mr. Shaw, whose dramatic 
work has been the goad, the gadfly of a whole genera- 
tion, stirring it into thought by the help of a fascinating 
art, will not, I think, elect to stand upon his novels ; 
though his whole work has deeply affected English 
novel- writ ing. But Mr. Wells, and Mr. Arnold Bennett, 
have been during the last ten or fifteen years vitally 
different as they are the leaders of the New Novel 
of that fiction which at any given moment is chiefly 
attracting and stimulating the men and women under 
forty. There is always a New Novel, and a New 
Poetry, as there was once, and many times, a New 
Learning. The New Novel may be Romantic, or 
Realist, or Argumentative. In our day it appears to 
be a compound of the last two at any rate in the 
novels of Mr. Wells. 

Mr. Wells seems to me a journalist of very great 
powers, of unequal education, and much crudity of 
mind, who has inadvertently strayed into the literature 
of imagination. The earlier books were excellent 
story-telling, though without any Stevensonian dis- 
tinction ; ' Kipps ' was almost a masterpiece ; ' Tono- 
Bungay ' a piece of admirable fooling, enriched with 
some real character-creation, a thing extremely rare 
in Mr. Wells's books ; while ' Mr. Britling sees it 

2 A 



362 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

through * is perhaps more likely to live than any other 
of his novels, because the subject with which it deals 
comes home so closely to so vast an audience. Mr. 
Britling, considered as a character, has neither life 
nor joints. He, like the many other heroes from 
other Wells novels, whose names one can never recollect, 
is Mr. Wells himself, talking this time on a supremely 
interesting topic, and often talking extraordinarily 
well. There are no more brilliant pages, of their 
kind, in modern literature than the pages describing 
Mr. Britling's motor-drive on the night of the declara- 
tion of war. They compare with the description of 
the Thames in ' Tono-Bungay. ' These, and a few others 
like them, will no doubt appear among the morceaux 
choisis of a coming day. 

But who, after a few years more, will ever want to 
turn the restless, ill- written, undigested pages of ' The 
New Machiavelli ' again or of half a dozen other 
volumes, marked often by a curious monotony both 
of plot and character, and a fatal fluency of clever 
talk ? The only thing which can keep journalism 
alive journalism, which is born of the moment, serves 
the moment, and, as a rule, dies with the moment is 
again the Stevensonian secret ! charm. Diderot, 
the prince of journalists, is the great instance of it in 
literature ; the phrase ' sous le charme ' is of his own 
invention. But Mr. Wells has not a particle of charm 
and the reason of the difference is not far to seek. 
Diderot wrote for a world of friends ' C'est pour 
moi et pour mes amis que je lis, que je reflechis, que 
j'ecris ' Mr. Wells for a world of enemies or fools, 
whom he wishes to instruct or show up. ' Le Neveu 
de Rameau ' is a masterpiece of satire ; yet there is 



EPILOGUE 863 

no ill-nature in it. But the snarl is never very long 
absent from Mi 1 . Wells's work ; the background of 
it is disagreeable. Hence its complete lack of 
magic, of charm. And without some touch of these 
qualities, the d peu pres of journalism, of that 
necessarily hurried and improvised work which is 
the spendthrift of talent, can never become litera- 
ture, as it once did under the golden pen of Denis 
Diderot. 

Sainte Beuve said of Stendhal that he was an 
exdtateur d'idees. Mr. Wells no doubt deserves 
the phrase. As an able journalist, a preacher of 
method, of foresight, and of science, he has much to 
say that his own time will do well to heed. But the 
writer among us who has most general affinity with 
Stendhal, and seems to me more likely to live than 
Mr. Wells, is Mr. Arnold Bennett. Mr. Bennett's 
achievement in his three principal books the ' Old 
Wives' Tale/ ' Clayhanger,' and ' Hilda Lessways,' 
has the solidity and relief the ugliness also ! of 
Balzac, or of Stendhal ; a detachment moreover, and 
a coolness, which Mr. Wells lacks. These qualities 
may well preserve them, if ' those to come ' find their 
subject-matter sufficiently interesting. But the 
' Comedie Humaine ' has a breadth and magnificence 
of general conception which governs all its details, 
and Stendhal's work is linked to one of the most 
significant periods of European history, and reflects 
its teeming ideas. Mr. Bennett's work seems to many 
readers to be choked by detail. But a writer of a 
certain quality may give us as much detail as he pleases 
witness the great Russians. Whenever Mr. Bennett 
succeeds in offering us detail at once so true, and so 

2 A2 



361 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

exquisite as the detail which paints the household of 
Lissy-Gory in ' War and Peace/ or the visit of Dolly 
to Anna and Wronsky in ' Anna Karenin/ or the 
nursing of the dying Nicolas by Kitty and Levin, 
he will have justified his method with all its longueurs. 
Has he justified it yet ? 

One great writer, however, we possess who can give 
us any detail he likes without tedium, because of the 
quality of the intelligence which presents it. Mr. Conrad 
is not an Englishman by race, and he is the master, 
moreover, of a vast exotic experience of strange lands 
and foreign seas, where very few of his readers can follow 
him with any personal knowledge. And yet we in- 
stinctively feel that in all his best work he is none the 
less richly representative of what goes to make the 
English mind, as compared with the French, or the 
German, or the Italian mind ; a mind, that is, shaped 
by sea-power and far-flung responsibilities, by all the 
customs and traditions, written and unwritten, which are 
the fruit of our special history, and our long-descended 
life. It is this which gives value often to Mr. Conrad's 
slightest tales, or intense significance to detail, which, 
without this background, would be lifeless or dull. 
In it, of course, he is at one with Mr. Kipling. 
Only the tone and accent are wholly different. 
Mr. Conrad's extraordinary intelligence seems to stand 
outside his subject, describing what he sees, as though 
he were crystal-gazing at figures and scenes, at gestures 
and movements, magically clear and sharp. Mr. Kipling, 
on the other hand, is part of intimately one with 
what he tells us ; never for a moment really outside it ; 
though he has at command every detail and every 
accessory that he needs. 



EPILOGUE 865 

Mr. Galsworthy, I hope, when this war is over, on 
which he has written such vivid, such moving pages 
(I know ! for in some of its scenes on the Somme battle- 
fields, for instance I have stood where he has stood), has 
still the harvest of his literary life before him. Since 
4 The Country House ' it does not seem to me that he 
has ever found a subject that really suits him and 
' subject is everything/ But he has passion and style, 
and varied equipment, whether of training or observa- 
tion ; above all, an individuality it is abundantly 
worth while to know. 

Of the religious development of the last thirty years 
I can find but little that is gladdening, to myself, at any 
rate, to say. There are ferments going on in the Church 
of England which have shown themselves in a series of 
books produced by Oxford and Cambridge men, each 
of them representing some greater concession to modern 
critical and historical knowledge than the one before it. 
The war, no doubt, has gripped the hearts and stirred 
the minds of men, in relation to the fundamental 
problems of life and destiny, as nothing else in living 
experience has ever done. The religious minds among 
the men who are perpetually fronting death in the battle 
line, seem to develop on the one hand a new and indi- 
vidual faith of their own, and on the other an instinctive 
criticism of the faiths hitherto offered them, which in 
time may lead us far. The complaints meanwhile of 
' empty churches ' and the failing hold of the Church 
of England, are perhaps more persistent and more 
melancholy than of old ; and there is a general anxiety 
as to how the loosening and vivifying action of the war 
will express itself religiously when normal life begins 



366 A WKITEK'S EECOLLECTIONS 

again. The ' Life and Liberty ' movement in the 
Anglican Church, which has sprung up since the war, 
is endeavouring to rouse a new Christian enthusiasm, 
especially among the young ; and with the young lies 
the future. But the war itself has brought us no com- 
manding message, though all the time it may be silently 
providing the ' pile of grey heather ' from which, 
when the moment comes, the beacon-light may 
spring. 

The greatest figure in the twenty years before the 
war seems to me to have been George Tyrrell. The 
two volumes of his biography, with all their absorbing 
interest, have not, I think, added much to the effect of 
his books. ' A Much-abused Letter/ ' Lex Orandi/ 
' Scylla and Charybdis/ and ' Christianity at the Cross- 
Roads ' have settled nothing. What book of real influ- 
ence does ? They present many contradictions ; but are 
thereby, perhaps, only the more living. For one leading 
school of thought they go not nearly far enough ; for 
another a good deal too far. But they contain passages 
drawn straight from a burning, spiritual experience, 
passages also of a compelling beauty, which can hardly 
fall to the ground unfruitful. Whether as Father 
Tyrrell's own, or as assimilated by other minds, they 
belong, at least, to the free movement of experimental 
and inductive thought, which, in religion as in science, 
is ever the victorious movement, however fragmentary 
and inconclusive it may seem at any given moment 
to be. Other men Dr. Figgis, for instance build 
up shapely and plausible systems, on given~ material, 
which, just because they are plausible and shapely, 
can have very little to do with truth. It is the seekers, 
the men of difficult, half-inspired speech, like T. H. 



EPILOGUE 867 

Green and George Tyrrell, through whose work there 
flashes at intervals the ' gleam ' that lights human 
thought a little further on its way. 

Meanwhile, it must often seem to anyone who ponders 
these past years, as if what is above all wanting to our 
religious moment is courage and imagination. If only 
Bishop Henson had stood his trial for heresy ! there 
would have been a seed of new life in this lifeless day. 
If only instead of deserting the churches, the Modernists 
of to-day would have the courage to claim them \ there 
again would be a stirring of the waters. Is it not 
possible that Christianity, which we have thought of 
as an old faith, is only now, with the falling away of its 
original sheath-buds, at the beginning of its true and 
mightier development ? A religion of love, rooted in, 
and verified by the simplest experiences of each common 
day, possessing in the Life of Christ a symbol and rally- 
ing cry of inexhaustible power, and drawing from its 
own corporate life of service and aspiration, developed 
through millions of separate lives, the only reasonable 
hope of immortality, and the only convincing witness 
to a Divine and Righteous Will at work in the universe ; 
it is under some such form that one tries to dream the 
future. The chaos into which religious observance has 
fallen at the present day is, surely, a real disaster. 
Religious services in which men and women cannot 
take part, either honestly, or with any spiritual gain, 
are better let alone. Yet the ideal of a common worship 
is an infinitely noble one. Year after year the simplest 
and most crying reforms in the liturgy of the Church 
of England are postponed, because nobody can agree 
upon them. And all the time the starving of ' the 
hungry sheep ' goes on. 



368 A WRITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

But if religious ideals have not greatly profited by 
the war, it is plain that in the field of social change we 
are on the eve of transformations throughout Europe 
which may well rank in history with the establishment 
of the Pax Romana, or the incursion of the northern 
races upon the Empire ; with the Renaissance, or the 
French Revolution. In our case, the vast struggle, in 
the course of which millions of British men and women 
have been forcibly shaken out of all their former ways 
of life, and submitted to a sterner discipline than any- 
thing they have yet known, while, at the same time, 
they have been roused by mere change of circumstance 
and scene to a strange new consciousness both of them- 
selves and the world, cannot pass away without per- 
manently affecting the life of the State, and the relation 
of all its citizens to each other. In the country districts, 
especially, no one of my years can watch what is going 
on without a thrilling sense as though, for us who are 
nearing the last stage of life, the closed door of the future 
had fallen mysteriously ajar, and one caught a glimpse 
through it of a coming world which no one could have 
dreamt of before 1914. Here, for instance, is a clumsy, 
speechless labourer of thirty-five, called up under the 
Derby scheme two years ago. He was first in France, 
and is now in Mesopotamia. On his first leave he 
reappears in his native village. His family and friends 
scarcely know him. Always a good fellow, he has risen 
immeasurably in mental and spiritual stature. For 
him, as for Cortez, on the ' peak in Darien/ the veil has 
been drawn aside from wonders and secrets of the 
world that, but for the war, he would have died without 
even guessing at. He stands erect ; his eyes are brighter 
and larger ; his speech is different. Here is another a 



EPILOGUE 869 

boy a careless and troublesome boy he used to be 
who has been wounded, and has had a company officer 
of whom he speaks, quietly indeed, but as he could never 
have spoken of anyone in the old days. He has learnt 
to love a man of another social world, with whom he has 
gone, unflinching, into a hell of fire and torment. He 
has seen that other dare and die, leading his men, and 
has learnt that a ' swell ' can reckon his life his humble, 
insignificant life as it used to be as worth more than 
his own. 

And there are thousands on whom the mere excite- 
ment of the new scenes, the new countries, cities, and 
men, has acted like flame on invisible ink, bringing out 
a hundred unexpected aptitudes, developing a mental 
energy that surprises themselves. ' On my farm/ says 
a farmer I know, ' I have both men that have been at 
the front, and are allowed to come back for agricultural 
purposes, and others that have* never left me. They 
were all much the same kind of men before the war ; but 
now the men who have been at the front are worth 
twice the others. I don't think they know that they 
are doing more work, and doing it better than they 
used to do. It is unconscious. Simply, they are twice 
the men they were/ 

And in the towns, in London, where, through the 
Play Centres, I know something of the London boy, 
how the discipline, the food, the open air, the straining 
and stimulating of every power and sense that the war 
has brought about, seems to be transforming and harden- 
ing the race ! In the noble and Pauline sense, I mean. 
These lanky, restless lads have indeed ' endured hardness.' 

Ah, let us take what comfort we can from these 
:~-for they are facts in face of these crowded 



870 A WEITER'S RECOLLECTIONS 

graveyards in the battle zone, and all the hideous 
wastage of war. They mean, surely, that a new heat of 
intelligence, a new passion of sympathy and justice has 
been roused in our midst by this vast and terrible effort, 
which, when the war is over, will burn out of itself the 
rotten things in our social structure, and make reforms 
easy which, but for the war, might have rent us in 
sunder. Employers and employed, townsman and 
peasant, rich and poor in the ears of all, the same still 
small voice, in the lulls of the war tempest, seems to 
have been urging the same message. More life more 
opportunity more leisure more joy more beauty ! 
for the masses of plain men and women, who have gone 
so bare in the past, and are now putting forth their 
just and ardent claim on the future. 

Let me recall a few more personal landmarks in 
the eighteen years that have passed since ' Eleanor ' 
appeared, before I close. 

Midway in the course of them, 1908 was marked out 
for me, for whom a yearly visit to Italy or France, 
and occasionally to Germany, made the limits of possible 
travel, by the great event of a spring spent in the United 
States and Canada. We saw nothing more in the States 
than every tourist sees, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, 
Washington, and a few other towns ; but the interest 
of every hour seemed to renew in me a nervous energy 
and a capacity for enjoyment that had been flagging 
before. Our week at Washington at the British 
Embassy with Mr. and Mrs Bryce, as they then were, 
our first acquaintance with Mr. Roosevelt, then at the 
White House, and with American men of politics and 
affairs, like Mr. Root, Mr. Garfield and Mr. Bacon 



EPILOGUE 871 

set all of it in spring sunshine, amid a sheen of white 
magnolias and May leaf will always stay with me as a 
tune of pleasure, unmixed and unspoilt, such as one's 
fairy godmother seldom provides without some medi- 
cinal drawback ! And to find the Jusserands there so 
entirely in their right place he so unchanged from the 
old British Museum days when we knew him first 
was one of the chief items in the delightful whole. So 
too was the discussion of the President, first with one 
Ambassador and then with another. For who could 
help discussing him ! And what true and admiring 
friends he had in both these able men who knew him 
through and through, and were daily in contact with 
him, both as diplomats and in social life. 

Then Philadelphia, where I lectured on behalf of the 
London Play Centres ; Boston, with Mrs. Fields and 
Sarah Orne Jewett a pair of friends, gentle, eager, 
distinguished, whom none who loved them will forget ; 
Cambridge, and our last sight of Charles Eliot Norton, 
standing to bid us farewell on the steps of Shady Hill ; 
Hawthorne's house at Concord ; and the lovely shore 
of Newport. The wonderful new scenes unrolled them- 
selves day by day ; kind faces and welcoming voices 
were always round us, and it was indeed hard to tear 
ourselves away. 

But at the end of April we went north to Canada 
for yet another chapter of quickened life. A week at 
Montreal, first, with Sir William van Home, then 
Ottawa, and a week with Lord and Lady Grey ; and 
finally the riever-to-be-forgotten experience of three 
weeks in the ' Saskatchewan/ Sir William's car on 
the Canadian Pacific railway, which took us first from 
Toronto to Vancouver, and then from Vancouver to 



372 A WEITEE'S EECOLLECTIONS 

Quebec. So in a swallow's flight from sea to sea I saw 
the marvellous land, wherein perhaps, in a far hidden 
future, lies the destiny of our race. 

Of all this of the historic figures of Sir William van 
Home, of beloved Lord Grey, of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 
and Sir Robert Borden, as they were ten years ago, 
there would be much to say. But my present task is 
done. 

Nor is there any room here for those experiences of 
the war, and of the actual fighting front, to which I 
have already given utterance in ' England's Effort ' 
and ' Towards the Goal/ Some day, perhaps, if these 
' Recollections ' find an audience, and when peace has 
loosened our tongues, and abolished that very necessary 
person the Censor, there will be something more to be 
written. But now, at any rate, I lay down my pen. 
For a while these Recollections, during the hours I have 
been at work on them, have swept me out of the shadow 
of the vast and tragic struggle in which we live, into 
days long past on which there is still sunlight though 
it be a ghostly sunlight ; and above them, the sky of 
normal life. But the dream and the illusion are done. 
The shadow descends again, and the evening paper 
comes in, bringing yet another mad speech of a guilty 
Emperor to desecrate yet another Christmas Eve. 

The heart of the world is set on peace. But for us, 
the Allies, in whose hands lies the infant hope of the 
future, it must be a peace worthy of our dead, and of 
their sacrifice. ' Let us gird up the loins of our minds. 
In due time we shall reap, if we faint not/ 

And meanwhile, across the Western ocean, America 
through these winter days, sends incessantly the long 
procession of her men and ships to the help of the old 



EPILOGUE 



873 



world, and of an undying cause. Silently they come, 
for there are powers of evil lying in wait for them. 
But ' still they come/ The air thickens, as it were, 
with the sense of an ever-gathering host. On this side 
and on that, it is the Army of Freedom, and of 
Judgement. 

MARY A. WARD. 

Chrislmat Eve, 1917. 



INDEX 



Acton, Lord, 208, 217-21, 264. 
Aristodemo, 328-9. 

Argyll, Duke and Duchess of, visit Words- 
worth, 77-80. 

Arnold, Edward Penrose, 11, 27, 71-72. 
Arnold, Frances, 27, 74. 
Arnold, Jane, ses Mrs. W. B. Forster. 
Arnold, Mary, 27. 

and Matthew Arnold, 44, 45. 
sketch of, 72-4. 
Arnold, Matthew, 7. 
friends and influences at Oxford, 12. 
Miss Bront 's impressions of, 32. 
his poem, ' A Southern Night,' 27, 33. 
an exquisite, 45. 

first volume of Poems published, 42. 
bis mother's letter on, 43. 
his sister Mary's impressions, 45. 
his kindliness, 46. 
revolutionary movement of 1848, interest 

in, 48. 

letter to Thomas Arnold on, 48-9. 
marriage, 52. 

second series of Poems, 52-3. 
elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford, 

53-7. 

influence of his lectures, 56-7*. 
friendship with M. Taine, 117. 
on ' Robert Blsmere,' 235. 
death, 240. 
appreciation of his character and work, 

241-4. 

Arnold, Susan, 74. 
Arnold, Thomas, author's father, 7. 
Dr. Arnold's affection for, and ve'ses to, 

8-10. 
at Oxford, 11. 

his friends there, 12-13. 
' Philip ' of Clough's poem, ' The Bothie,' 

13. 

at the Colonial Office, 14. 
thoughts of New Zealand, 14. 
letters to his mother and sister, 14-15. 
Baron Bunsen endeavours to dissuade 

him, 16. 

leaves for New Zealand, 17. 
Dean Stanley's farewell letter, 17. 
farming and teaching in New Zealand, 
17, 18. 



Arnold, Thomas cont. 
offered private secretaryship to Sir Qeorg 

Grey, 18. 

appointed orgauiser of education in Tas- 
mania, 18. 
marriage, 19. 
joins Church of Borne, 20. 
Tasmanian appointment given up, 21. 
return to England, 21. 
friendship with Clough and Stanley 

renewed, 87, 91. 
at Birmingham Oratory, 99. 
Oxford, literary work at, 100. 
visit to Borne, 343. 
Professor at Dublin University, 845. 
death, 345. 

Arnold, Mrs. Thomas, author's mother, 4. 
ancestry, 4-7. . 

French Protestant element In, 6, 7. 
beauty, 4. 
plays Hermione, 4. 
impressions of Fox How, 4. 
attitude to her husband's conversion, 21. 
last illness and death, 236. 
Arnold, Dr. Thomas, of Bugby, 3. 
allusion to his gentleness, 9. 
influence of his religious faith upon Eng- 
lish thought and upon his own sons 
compared, 11. 
and Wordsworth, 75. 
Arnold, Mrs., wife of Dr. Arnold, 11. 
devotion of her children to, 11. 
her appearance and character, 24-32. 
letters quoted, 28-32. 
Arnold, Susan, 74. 
Arnold, Walter, 27, 28. 
Arnold, William Delafleld, 11, 27. 
joins Indian Army, 58. 
author of ' Oakfleld,' 59. 
marriage, 64. 

and his brother Matthew, 66. 
appointed Director of Public Instruction, 

Punjaub, 07. 
death, G9. 
subject of ' A Southern Night,' aud 

' Stanzas from the Carnac,' 58. 
children adopted by Mr. and Mrs. W. F 

Forster, 71. 
Arnold- Forster. H. 0., 270. 



374 



INDEX 



375 



Asquith, Mr., 289. 
marriage, 307. 

Bacon, Mr., 370. 
Balfour, Mr. Arthur, 201. 

Chief Secretaryship, 211-6. 

visit to, at Whittinghame, 212. 

4 Foundations <.| Hi-in-t,' 308, 310. 
Balfour, Mr. Gerald, 202. 
Balzani, Count Ugo, 277, 339. 
Barrie, Sir J. M., 317, 360-1. 
Beiiueu, Arnold, J63. 
Bernhardt, Sarah, 157. 
Bessie Costrell,' 316. 
Boni, Commendatore, 339. 
Borden, Sir Robert, 372. 
Borghese, Pauline, 281. 
Bourget, M., 207, 316, 326. 
Bronte, Cliarlotte and Emily, 32. 
Brooke, Eev. Stopford, 283, 295-7. 
Browning, Egbert, 223-5. 
Brunetiere, M., 252-4. 
Bryce, Mr. and Mrs., 370. 
Bunsen, Baron, letter to Thomas Arnold, 15. 
Bywater, Ingrain, 105. 

Carlisle, Lord and Lady, 293. 
Castel Gandolfo, 323, 327. 
Chamberlain, Mr., 221-3. 
Cherbuliez, M. Victor, 203. 
Chevrillon, M. Andre, 274-5. 
Clarke, Mr. Butler, 192. 
Clemenceau, M., 221. 
Cloncnrry, Lady, 262-S. 
Clough, Ann, 87. 
Clough, Arthur H., at Oxford, 12. 

friendship with Matthew and Thomns 
Arnold, 83, 84, 85. 

poems, 84-5. 
Thomas Arnold's estimate of, 84. 

on Matthew Arnold's poems, 85. 

sympathy with revolution of 1848, 86. 

author's recollections of, in 1858, 87. 

death, 87. 

subject of Matthew Arnold's ' Thyrsis,' 84 
Conrad, Joseph, 364. 
Crelghton, Mandell, 109. 

sketch of, 141. 

on ' Miss Bretherton,' 196. 

on ' David Grieve,' 283. 

on ' Marcella,' 301. 

atLeveusHall, 316. 
Crelghton, Mrs. Mandell, 152. 
Cunlifle, Sir Robert and Lady, 258. 
Curzon, George (Lord), 202. 
Cust, Harry, 201. 

' David Grieve,' first vision of, 261. 
finished, 276. 



David Grieve 1 cont. 
published, 282. 
hostile criticisms, 282-8. 
favourably judrprl hv Meredith Towns- 
end, Mr. Button, Walter Pater, Henry 
James, Stopford Brooke, Bishop 
Creighton, Mr. Goschen, Sir James 
Hannen, Lord Derby, 233. 
success in America, 287. 
Denison, Sir William, 4, 18. 
Derby, Lord, sketch of, 283-7. 
Dufferin, Lord, at Rome, 277-281. 

on ' Helbeck of Bannisdale,' 317. 
Duchesne, Monseigneur, 339. 

Eliot, George, author's meeting with, 108. 

two impressions recorded, 109-10. 
' Eleanor,' beginning of, 323. 

published, 346. 

Henry James on, 346. 

Sir William Harcourt on, 338. 

Gilder, Richard Watson, on, 348-9. 

dedication to Italy, 351. 

Eltham House,' 352. 

4 England's Effort,' 372. 

Favre, M. Jules, 206. 
4 Fenwick's Career,' 352. 
Fields, Mrs., 371. 
Figgis, Dr., 366. 
Foulkes, Dr., 169. 

Foundations of Belief,' 308, 810. 
Fox How, built, 3. 

author's arrival at, 3. 

mother's impressions of, 4. 

Miss Martineau and Miss Bronte meet 
Matthew Arnold at (1854), 32. 

description of, in 1856, 23. 

Wordsworth at, 77. 

visited by Duke of Argyll, 77. 
Frederick, Empress, visit to, at Windsor, 

319-22. 

Freeman, Mr., 148-9. 
Forster, W. E., 4, 26, 35. 

member for Bradford, 35. 

in Gladstone's Ministry, 1869, 85. 

carries Education Bill of 1870, 35. 

Chief Secretary for Ireland, J75-8. 

death, 180. 

Forster, Mrs. W. E. (Jane, eldest daughter 
of Dr Arnold), 4. 

character described, 84. 

marriage to Mr. W. E. Forster, 35. 
influence on his career, 37. 

visit to Miss Bronte, 38. 

author's affection for, 39. 

her relations with Matthew Arnold, 39. 

Galsworthy, Mr , 365. 



376 



INDEX 



Gambetta, M, 206-7. 
Carfleld, Mr., 370. 

Gayangos, Don Pascual de, 191, 2.V> ^:.>. 
Gladstone, Mary, 202. 
Gladstone, W. E., and Mark Pattis'm's 
' Memoirs," 108. 

author's long talk with, 237. 

his wonderful energy, 238. 

unfinished letter to, 239. 

review of ' Robert Elsmere,' 248. 

afternoon at Hawarden, 258. 

reminiscences of, 303, 305. 

his burying, 306. 
Godkin, Mr., 317. 

Goschen, Mr., 208, 215, 217, 283, 302. 
Goschen, Mrs., 217. 

Grant Duff, Sir Mcuntstuart and Lady. 208. 
Green, John Richard, sketch of, 14:! -S. 
Green, Mrs. John Richard, 270. 
Green, Thomas Hill, sketch of, 132 -:5. 

the ' Grey" of ' Robert Elsraere,' 132. 
Grey, Lord and Lady, 371. 
Grey, Sir George, 18. 

Halifax, Lord, 317. 

Hampden House, residence at, 268-9. 

Hanncn, Sir James (Lord), 283. 

Hardy, Thomas, 35S-9. 

Harcourt, Sir William, 307, 337-8. 

anecdote of Lord Hartington, 837. 
Harrison, Frederic, 317. 
Hawarden, afternoon at, 258. 
Henson, Bishop, 367. 
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 248. 
Home, Sir William van, 371. 
' Helbeck of Bannisdale,' 21 . 

plot suggested and developed, 3!:; ">. 

father and Lord Acton consulted, yi4. 

published, 316. 

appreciations of, 316-318. 
Houghton, Lord, 202. 
Howson, Rev. J. 8., 77. 
Button, Mr., 283. 
Huxley, Leonard, 304. 
Huxley, Professor, and his wife, H71-2. 

and Dr. Wace, 271, 308-9. 

letters from, 309-310. 

death, 310. 

Jacks, Principal, 296. 

James, Henry, first meeting, 193. 

visit to Russell Square, 193. 

letter on 'Miss Bretherton,' 195. 

on ' Robert Elsmere,' 246. 

on ' David Grieve,' 283. 

atLevensHall, 315. 

on ' Helbeck of Bannisdale,' 317. 

at Cast ! Gandolfo, 325-9. 

bll art, 333-6. 



Jewett, Sarah Orne, 371. 

1 Journal Intime,' Amiel's, 196, 209-10. 

Jowctt, Dr., 101. 

friendship with author, 101. 

sketch of, 126-32. 

on ' Journal Intime,' 209. 

on ' Xcw Reformation,' 259-60. 

on ' David Grieve,' 299. 

death, 296. 

his influence, 300. 
Jiibserand, M., 270, 371. 

Kipling, Mr., 359-60. 
Kitchin, Dr., 191. 

Labouchere, Mr., 214. 

' Lady Connie,' 352. 

1 Lady Rose's Daughter,' 358. 

I-anciani, Signer, 320. 

Lansdowne, Lord, 48. 

letter on ' Eleanor,' 346. 

last visit in London, 330. 
Lang, Andrew, 243. 
Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, 372. 
Lawless, Hon. Emily, 262-3. 
Levens Hall, residence at, 314-6. 
Lewes, Sir George, 214. 
Liddon, Canon, 135-140. 
Lowell, Mr., 226-7. 
Lushington. Dr., 160. 
Lyall, Sir Alfred, 270, 317. 
Lyttelton, Alfred, 201, 202. 
Lyttelton, Mrs. Alfred, gee Laura Tennant. 
Lytton, Lord, 316. 

' .Marcella,' begun, 289. 
published, 301. 
appreciations. 301-3. 
' Marriage of William Asche,' 352. 
Martineau, Harriot, reminiscences of, 297-8. 
Martineau, Dr , 297-9. 
Matthews, Mr (Lord Lli-ifl-iiT) 289, 
Meredith, George, 317, 3o6-". 
Miss Bretherton.' published, 192. 

appreciations Henry James, Walter 
Pater, John Morley, Mandell Creiph- 
ton, Cotter Morrison, Sir Henry 
Taylor, Edmond Sclierer, 19.V 
' Missing,' 352. 
J'ohl, Madame, 158. 
>..'or!ey, John (Lord), friendship and working 

relations with, 182-0. 
on ' J'iss Bretherton,' 195. 
on ' Helbeck of Bannisd .!e,' 317. 

Nature, joy in, 89-90. 

Newman, Cardinal, his preaching at Ox- 
ford, 11. 
letter to author'* father, 21. 



INDEX 



377 



Newman, Cardinal con*. 

fusty, and Llddon, 135. 

at Oxford, in 1880, 136. 

anecdote of, 136. 
' New Reformation, The,' 259. 
Norton, Charles Eliot, 371. 

Pulumbo's inn, Madame, 276. 
I'rtsolinl. Contcssa, 205-8, 277. 
I'assmore Edwards Settlement, 291, 307. 
Pater, Clara, 124. 
Pater, Walter, and his sisters, 120. 

Studies in the Renaissance, 120, 121. 

' Marios,' 122. 

his opinions on Christianity, 123. 

on Amiel's ' Journal,' 210. 
Pattlson, Mark, 102. 

sketch of, 105. 

and Bywater, 105. 

advice to author, 105. 

in later years. 106. 

not ' Casaubon' in Middlemarch, 110. 

the ' Squire' in ' Robert Elsmcre,' 111. 
Pattison, Mrs. Mark, first sight of, 102. 

author's Iriendship with, at Oxford, 103-5. 
Powell, Mr. York, 192. 
Physically Defective Schools, 291. 
Pusey in the '70's, 137. 
Reflections on t!ie war, 368-9. 
Religious Developments, 1880-1900, 365. 
Kenan, M., at Oxford, 156, 170, 173. 
' Richard Meynell,' 352. 
' Robert Elsmere,' origins of, 162-70. 

writing of commenced, 169. 

published, 235. 

apprcciatious, 245-6. 

Mr. Gladstone's review of, 237, 247. 

its success in England, 252. 

In America, 247, 252. 
Rodd, Rennell, 201, 282. 
Roosevelt, Mr , 370. 
Root, Mr , 370. 
Rosebery, Lord, 307. 
Rothschild, Baron Ferdinand de, 807. 
Rydal Mount, author's visit to, 1859, 81. 

again visited, 1911, 81-3. 

Scherer, M. Edmond, 118, 207-8. 

School ambulance, first, 292. 

Shalrp, John Campbell, 84. 

Shakespeare, incident of tlii- Kir?t Folio. 

2M -, 

Sir George Tressady,' 805, 307, 313, 321. 
Sizergh Castle, 813-4. 
Smith, Goldwin, 249-50. 
Social Democratic Federation, 307. 
Sorell. Governor, 4, f>. 
Sorcll, General V.'Ullam Alexander. 5. 



Sorell, William, 5. 
Sorell, Thomas, 5. 
Stanley, Dean, letter to author's fnthor, 17. 

sketch of, 91-8. 

author's early memories of, 94-5. 

officiates at author's marriage, 119. 
Stephen, Leslie, 317. 
Stevenson, R. L., 857-8. 
Stocks, move into, 287. 

bought, 238. 

rebuilt, 288. 

depicted in ' Marcella,' 288. 
Stubbs, Bishop, 149-51. 
Swinburne, Mr, 117. 

Taine, M., at Oxford, 115-7. 

friendship with Matthew Arnold, 117. 
Taylor, Sir Henry, 196. 
Tennant, Laura (Mrs. Alfred Lyttelton), 

198-205. 

Tennant, Margot, 270, 308. 
Tennyson, Lord, his burying, 353. 

his waning fame, 354. 

glimpses of, 855. 
' Towards the Goal," 372. 
Townsend, Mr. Meredith, 282. 
Trevelyan, Sir George Otto, 161. 
Tyrrell. Or>r?o. ,?fiii. 

University Hall Settlement, 289. 
co-workers at, 289-292. 

Vaughan Cardinal, 341. 
Vacation School, 1'irst, 292. 

Word, T. Humphry, author's engagement 

to, 111. 
marriage, 119. 
joins ' Times ' staff, 175. 
publishes ' English Poets,' 189. 
art critic on ' Times,' 189. 
Ward, Mary Augusta, Mrs T. Humphry, 
born at llobart, 1851, 19. 
recollections prior to 1856, 3. 
voyage to and arrival in England, 3. 
early recollections of Fox How, 23. 
visits to Rydal Mount 81. 
childish memories of Dean Stanley, 94-5. 
schooling, 96-7. 

memories and events of schooldays, 99. 
schools of the '60's and to-day compared, 

99. 

young days at Oxford, 100-18. 
friendship with Mr. and Mr. Mark 

Tattisnn, 102-3. 
meeting with Oorse Eliot. 10T. 

: i->. 
i in summer, 114. 



378 



INDEX 



Ward, Mary Augusta con*, 
engagement to Mr T. Humphry Ward, 111. 
marriage, 119. 

early married life at Oxford, 119. 
friends and influences of Oxford 119-159. 
Walter Pater and his sisters, 120. 
Benjamin Jowett, 126, 132. 
Thomas Hill Green, 132. 
sketches of Newman, Pusey, Liddon, 

135-7. 

Mandel Creighton, 141. 
John Richard Green, 142-8. 
Professor Freeman, 148-9. 
Bishop Stubbs, 149-151. 
summary of life and activities at Oxford, 

152. 

Oxford women's movement, 152-3. 
visit to Paris, 153-01. 

Madame Mohl's salon, 158. 
origins of ' Robert Elsmere,' 162-170. 
Renan's visit to Oxford, 170-75. 
husband's appointment to ' limes ' staff, 

175. 
visit to Mr. W. B. Forster in Dublin, 

175-81. 

removal to London, 175. 
early years in London, 189. 
husband's appointment as art critic for 

' Times,' 189. 

house in Russell Square, 190. 
Borough Farm, 190-1. 
seven years' work (1882-9), 191. 
'Miss Bretherton,' published (1884), 192. 
translation of Amiel's ' Journal Intime ' 

published (1885). 
' Robert Elsmere ' begun, 228. 
friendship with Laura Tennant, 198-205. 
friends in London Mr. Balfour, Mr. 
Goschen, Lord Acton, Mr. Chamber- 
lain, Mr. Browning, Mr. Lowell, 
211-227. 

publication of ' Robert Elsmere,' 229. 
Gladstone on ' Robert Elsmere,' 232, 235. 
death of author's mother, 236. 
success of ' Robert Elsmere,' 244, 247, 252. 
trip to Switzerland, 247. 
incident of first tobo Shakespeare in Spain, 

255. 

afternoon at Hawarden, 258. 
' The New Reformation ' published, 259. 
first visit to Italy, 264. 

Salon of Contessa Maria Pasclina, 266. 
summer at Hampden House, 268. 



Ward, Mary Augusta cont. 

' David Grieve ' published, 276. 

second visit to Italy, 276. 
Rome, Naples, Ravello, 276. 
society of Rome, 277. 
Lord Dufferin at Rome, 277. 

residence at Stocks, 287. 

Stocks bought, 288 ; rebuilt, 288. 

' Marcella ' begun, 289. 

University Hall Settlement, 290. 
co-workers at, 290-9. 

death of Dr. Jowett, 209. 

Marcella ' published, 301. 

the passing of Mr. Gladstone, 304-6. 

death of Professor Huxley, 310. 

' Sir George Tressady ' published, 313. 

' Helbeck of Baimisdale,' plot sketched, 
314. 

residence at Levens Hall, 314. 

publication of ' Helbeck of Bannisda'e," 
316. 

visit to Empress Frederick, 319-22. 

residence at Castel Gandolfo, 323. 

at Rome In 1900, 837. 

death of author's father, 345. 

' Eleanor ' published, 346. 

some literary figures, 354-65. 

religious developments, 365-7. 

some effects of the war, 368-9. 

visit to United States and Canada, 370-2. 
Wace, Dr , 308-9. 
Webb, Godfrey, 202. 
Webb, Mrs Sidney, 307. 
Wells, Mr., 361-2. 
Wemyss, Lord and Lady, 310-3. 
Wicksteed, Mr. Philip, 213. 
Wordsworth, and Dr. Arnold, 75. 

at Fox How, 76, 77. 

and Matthew Arnold, 77. 

anecdotes of, 75, 76. 

sonnet, ' Wansfell, this household,' 76. 

Duke of Argyll's visit to, 79. 

death of, referred to, 80. 

vision of, seen by author's elder daughter, 

82-3. 

Wordsworth, Dora, 77. 
Wordsworth, Dorothy, 77, 78, 79, 83. 
Wordsworth, Mrs., author's visit to, 81. 
Wordsworth, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher, author's 

visit to, 81. 

Wordsworth, Rev. John, 167. 
Wyndham, George, on ' Helbeck of Bannis- 
dale,' 318. 



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